Chapter 181: A Tough Battle
He Lingling chuckled after a brief blank.
"I thought girls loved by many always with the wind at their backs were prone to arrogance and complacency."
"Who is loved by many? Who has the wind at her back?" Yan Zheke found those compliments hard to take in without feeling uncomfortable. Reared in a ﬁne family, she was better than quarreling with the enemy. She kept her eyes shut and had her mood adjusted, getting her best self for the coming battle.
In a semi meditation state, she gradually drew herself away from He Lingling's noises and cleared up her heart. Things had happened in the past few days came to her mind.
Her mom had accepted Cheng so she no longer needed to worry or feel guilty about dating him.
She had taken that opportunity to break the news about her preparing for studying abroad to Cheng and earned his support so she no longer needed to be swayed by considerations of loss and gain or be caught in difﬁcult circumstances.
Locked in a room with Cheng alone, nothing more than soft touch of skin happened to her. Cheng would rather struggle than offense her, which proved his pure affection for her.
Everything seemed pleasant and pleasing, peeling off her burden layer by layer. She felt at ease and satisﬁed... Yan Zheke opened her eyes, refreshed and bright, more agile and energetic than ever. All distracting thoughts were screened out but this match.
The last one!
As she started to grow impatient, the referee raised his right hand and swung it down.
"Fight!" He Lingling had waited long. Her body leaned forward and her spine curved, charging like a dragon rising out of the river. She quickly approached Yan Zheke.
Dragon style - Sleepy Dragon Ascending to Heaven!
She had well mastered this move that she could draw her weight by force through her spine like Lou Cheng and Yan Zheke. However, her lack of subtle control of her muscles left her vulnerable to injury so she wouldn't use it in usual situations.
If she could push this move to the body reﬁning state summit, most of her body muscles would pull strength upon her spine's move, shaking air around in concert with her breath to create a low moan as if a dragon cry, producing an effect similar to the Lion Roar.
Watching He Lingling throwing herself to her face, Yan Zheke, with no time to perform mercurial balance, kept cool and visualized a sheer whiteness bounding down. She shook her right arm and struck. He Lingling raised her right ﬁst to make a ﬂank attack.
As their hands met, He Lingling straightened her ﬁngers with a series of crispy sounds to form a hook, attempting to grab Yan Zheke's ﬁst.
Dragon style - Dragon Claw Tearing!
This was nothing new to Yan Zheke. She stuck to the plan resulted from her discussion with Lou Cheng, touching and withdrawing. Making use of the bounce from their collision, she quickly took her right ﬁst back and safely avoided the dragon claw. In the meantime, her waist twisted and thigh tightened to launch a left whip kick at He Lingling's knee.
I doubt your legs can become dragon claws! He Lingling suddenly curved her spine and bent her body, shortening herself by half. Fingers of her right hand reached out to Yan Zheke's ankle, ripping air apart.
The key to dragon style was the spine, the dragon of the body!
Yan Zheke's heart missed a beat, knowing her Listening Skill couldn't save her once the dragon claw caught her. Her left leg would be injured for weeks if not months.
- moves like that were causes of most of the severe injuries taking place during a match as it would be difﬁcult for the referee to interfere in time. A catching move and a tearing move were almost impossible to be distinguished from each other. Moreover, the referee had no way to be sure whether the ﬁghter to be caught would be able to handle the catch. One split second of hesitation would be enough for the attacker to exert strength and the result would be irreversible.
Yan Zheke had thrown her left leg at the enemy, hard to change a move in the air to avoid the grab. All of a sudden, she was hanging by a thread, anchoring her hope on a very intense burst at the instance.
Her body shivered oddly and her left leg halted, twisting her waist and back to lift her entire body into the air, launching a right kick at He Lingling's chin.
Interlocking Kicks, a technique of Yin-yang Twist.
This beautiful response took He Lingling by sheer surprise. She had to bend her waist backward into the difﬁcult Iron Bridge Move as the enemy's toes reaching her face.
Her chin felt a burning ache, probably grazed by the kick.
Unable to keep balance like Lou Cheng in this situation due to her limited control of weight, she threw herself down on all fours like a lazy donkey rolling on the ground. After the interlocking kicks, Yan Zheke was also unable to balance herself. She staggered sideways before coming to a stop.
One made the Carp Jumping Move and the other turned with the bounce. The pair resumed the confrontation they had had before the match.
Lou Cheng felt much relieved from his intense concern about Yan Zheke losing the match, heaving a long sigh.
If he was in that ﬁght, he could handle He Lingling's dragon claw in a dozen different ways.
Yan Zheke adjusted her breath before launching another attack. She adopted a striking style very similar to the Eight Diagrams Palm, sliding to the enemy's side to launch a blow with a whipping sound.
It was too late for He Lingling to make dragon claws. She raised her right arm to block the punch. Yan Zheke immediately absorbed some strength and swayed her body to throw a ﬁerce right kick aiming at just under the enemy's knee.
Bam! He Lingling responded with a side kick which blocked that attack. Her body leaned forward, stretching out her dragon claws and ripping the air current in the sky.
Yan Zheke took action at once, sliding to the side and striding forth to duck the attack and locate herself on the enemy's side again!
Practicing with her every day these days, Lou Cheng was rather familiar with this move, a palm style of the Ji Family called Nine Signs Dragon Palm. It focused on strikes from sides and behind which Lin Que didn't like at all so he rarely performed. Yan Zheke used it here in a creative way, combining the Dragon Palm's footwork with the 24 Blizzard Strikes' hands and energy exerting.
Yan Zheke moved about elegantly and agilely, seeking opportunities to launch a Brutal Blizzard. But once the enemy put on dragon claws, she slid away and changed to another position. Lou Cheng nodded his approval. He Lingling fell to the downside, full of strength but unable to use it anywhere, blocking and fencing in a passive position.
"The ﬁght has come to patience and persistence now..." murmured Lou Cheng.
He didn't consider it a matter of vigor or strength because the two had no such information about each other. Whoever lost her cool ﬁrst would reveal her weaknesses and probably lose the match after which only to discover the rival had long reached her limit and she could have won the ﬁght if her patience lasted a few bouts longer,
Lou Cheng prayed in his heart for his tremor force massage to work.
Born prematurely, Yan Zheke was weaker than average by nature. She had been working on her weakness and training her body but she was still signiﬁcantly inferior to ﬁghters of her level. She gradually grew anxious as her physical strength diminished rapidly. Although she was tempted to take the risk to launch 24 Blizzard Strikes, her reason and logic suppressed her impulse.
She was conﬁdent that He Lingling didn't know about her congenital deﬁciency.
My calmness has a 70% chance of driving her out of patience and control!
Success belongs to the persevering!
After another bout of touch and go, anxiety and disquietude climbed on He Lingling's face. She suddenly pulled strength from her feet and curved her spine to push her entire body backward when Yan Zheke once again slid to her back. He Lingling smashed into Yan Zheke who was just about to hold herself ﬁrm.
Dragon style - Flying Dragon Hitting Rock! With no room to duck, Yan Zheke quickly raised both of her arms in front of her body to receive the bump.
A ﬂip followed the bump. He Lingling moved her spine up and down like a trembling spike, throwing her left ﬁst out abruptly, aiming at the rival's shoulder.
Dragon style's deadly move - Flipping Spike!
The Dragon style was also known as the Spike style!
Yan Zheke drew in a deep breath and lowered her weight to squat instead of dodging hastily, visualizing a towering mountain covered by thousands of tons of snow.
A meteor ﬂashed across the sky and hit the peak of the mountain, causing a deafening explosion. Snow collapsed horribly.
Bam! Her toes turned inward and her waist and back twisted, throwing her right hand out upwards.
Meteor Falling, Mega Avalanche!
Two ﬁsts clashed. He Lingling's body swayed a little while Yan Zheke was pushed over by the force, staggering backward which happened to save her from the following dragon claws.
She resumed her balance after taking two strides back but decided to withdraw two more steps to build up strength according to Lou Cheng's instruction during their pair exercise.
Yan Zheke's losing balance thrilled He Lingling who then exerted strength from her feet and threw herself out with dragon claws. She was almost certain that she would ﬁnish the rival in no time, Yan Zheke abruptly came to a stop, pressing her feet ﬁrmly against the ground like two nails hammered in deeply. She swung her body backward and then immediately waved it forth, shooting her accumulated strength out into the Meteor Falling - Mega Avalanche to launch a crisp Heart Digging Pound!
He Lingling's dragon claw failed to catch Yan Zheke's ﬁst. Instead, she was punched away by the intense force. Absorbing energy from the rebound, Yan Zheke launched a left whip kick.
As the rival hurriedly raised her leg to block, she withdrew her strike and reached her both ﬁsts out, aiming at the enemy's temples.
Striking the opponent's ears with both ﬁsts!
He Lingling received the two punches with her arms, noticing the rival's physical strength had surpassed hers. Yan Zheke refused to let loose her attacks. Her right thigh suddenly tightened and kicked at the enemy. He Lingling moved her spine to pull her leg in a rush.
He Lingling's right leg was kicked back, leaving her lower body vulnerable to attacks and upper body swaying. Her arms struggled to resume balance.
Yan Zheke took a half step forward and threw her right ﬁst at He Lingling's neck.
The referee raised his right hand and announced loudly,
"Yan Zheke won!"
Yan Zheke's head was blank for a second but soon the blankness was replaced by a huge joy. She threw away her usual decency and calmness, turning around to wave her ﬁst at Lou Cheng.
I am of the Amateur Second Pin now!
She saw Lou Cheng's ecstatic face and swinging his ﬁst with excitement and an odd line came to her mind,
The military honor is half mine and the other half yours...
Chapter 182: Drops of Joy
Every match had one excited and one upset. Yan Zheke and He Lingling here respectively played those two roles, demonstrating joy and sorrow of life.
Yan Zheke walked towards the supervisor as most of her emotion was let off and suddenly noticed how tight her muscles were and how weak her legs felt. She was even more exhausted than the last match.
"The defeat would have been mine if my last strike didn't get He Lingling..." thought Yan Zheke, feeling fortunate with some panic fear. She stood by the side of the ring, shaking noticeably, and waiting for the supervisor to stamp the result form.
Her vigor restored slowly during the wait and she could steadily walk up the upper stand to join Lou Cheng.
"Excited and thrilled, aren't you?" Lou Cheng held her, offering her an energy drink with the lid removed, grinning. "Yes!" Yan Zheke nodded ﬁrmly as she accepted the drink and started to wolf it down. Sweat stood out on her forehead.
Lou Cheng lowered his voice and asked in a joking and expectant tone,
"Don't you want to celebrate with a kiss from me?"
I'm deﬁnitely in!
Phew! Yan Zheke spouted the drink on Lou Cheng's face, a bit annoyed but more amused. She answered slowly but ﬁrmly,
Lou Cheng didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. The tissue prepared to wipe sweat for his girlfriend was used to dry his face. "It's okay that you don't want a kiss from me but why shot me right in my face?" "Of course, unless you want to choke me!" Watching her boyfriend take out another piece of tissue and enjoying his careful, gentle drying sweat on her forehead and face, she squinted and protested in a coquettish voice.
Lou Cheng broke into a laugh. "Alright. It's better that you spouted at me."
They rested for a few more minutes to let her sweat dry and then headed to the martial arts association ofﬁce next to No.1 Hall to submit the form to the staff.
The ofﬁcer viewed the video of her match and veriﬁed the result before entering it into his computer. He stamped the form again and sent Yan Zheke to get her photo taken for the certiﬁcate next door.
Through the whole procedure, Yan Zheke got her Amateur Second Pin certiﬁcate with a unique serial number which could be used on the martial arts association's national website to check her rank. She ofﬁcially became an Amateur Second Pin ﬁghter!
Lou Cheng indulged in the certiﬁcate as if it was him who just got qualiﬁed and complimented, "Ke, your photo is so pretty. I've never seen anyone's certiﬁcate photo this pretty before. You're endowed with good looks no matter what!"
Yan Zheke glanced at him, half delighted and half embarrassed. "Cheng, I never understood why they used that word to describe boys in novels until now!"
"Which word?" asked Lou Cheng, curious.
Yan Zheke pretended to be bitter at him.
"Slick and glib!"
"Err..." Lou Cheng felt very shy as his imagination had taken it the wrong way which was improper to be talked about in public. He responded with a sneaky smile, "That was a sincere compliment! Look at my eyes. How genuine and honest!"
Yan Zheke tried to hold back her laugh. "Fine. I trust you!
Don't show off your acting talent in front of me, okay?"
"Where shall we go?" Knowing well when to stop, Lou Cheng smoothly changed the topic.
Yan Zheke took out her mobile from her jacket pocket and checked time. "Qing should ﬁnish soon. Let's wait for her."
"Sure!" His girlfriend had successfully qualiﬁed for the Amateur Second Pin and he could ﬁnally put away his concerns to cheer for other teammates.
Rather talented, Guo Qing was stronger than most males of her level. With solid basic skills, she improved rapidly after practicing the Mountain-moving Punch. Deﬁnitely one of the most capable candidates for the Amateur Fourth Pin certiﬁcate, she defeated all her opponents in this ranking event, waiting for her ﬁnal match tonight. "Sister Wen's match is at 4:30. Let's go back to the hotel and rest! I'm so exhausted!" said Guo Qing after joining Lou Cheng and Yan Zheke, cheerful and noisy.
Robust and vigorous as Guo Qing also felt exhausted after ﬁve ﬁghts in two days. She wanted to recover as much as possible.
The most important match is to take place tonight!
The schedule was fair enough that her rival would meet her after ﬁve matches.
Yan Zheke had little knowledge about others' progress except for Sun Jian's loss as her full attention was concentrated on her own matches. She asked curiously, "Does Sister Wen have a good chance of qualifying?"
They all encountered a tough rival this morning and lost the match. "A pretty big chance. Ke, don't you know that the quotas for Amateur Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Pin are much larger? The best two of each group can advance," answered Guo Qing.
The martial arts association arranged it this way to encourage ﬁghters of lower levels to pursue higher amateur ranks. This year 296 people signed up for 50 amateur fourth pin certiﬁcates. All combatants were divided into 50 groups and the best two of each group would advance to compete with winners of another group. They had a 17% chance of qualifying while those aiming at the Amateur Second Pin had less than a 10% probability!
Less talented, Li Xiaowen, Wu Meng and Jiang Fusheng were extremely hard working. They never missed one training day, which was much better than most of their competitors. Besides, the 24 Blizzard Strikes was no casual style. Unless they were extremely unlucky, they would eventually get qualiﬁed for the Amateur Fourth Pin after one or two failed attempts. However, it would be an entirely different story when it came to higher levels as many martial arts club members and martial arts school students participated. "I see..." Yan Zheke wiped the frown off her face, feeling very glad for her senior brothers and sisters.
A happy person wanted happiness for all the others!
Li Mao and Lin Hua ﬁnished earlier than Yan Zheke. Thanks to their lucky draw, they advanced with a perfect mark.
Back in the hotel, Guo Qing went straight to her room. Lou Cheng took out the room key and asked Yan Zheke as opening the door,
"Ke, take a shower quickly. The sooner we massage, the more you recover. Don't get any invisible injury."
As soon as the words slipped out of his mouth, a few thoughts came to his head.
We'll be alone in a twin room again... Ke has succeeded in the rank event. No more match is awaiting her...
Pong-pong-pong! His heart was beating fast and his lips were dry, looking forward to something and expecting something.
In his heavy breath, Yan Zheke's body started shivering. She lowered her head, watching the carpet to one side, and whispered,
"Cheng, Cheng, what about... You come to our room later..."
Ahh? Lou Cheng was lost for a second but soon realized the girl's intention. She wanted Guo Qing to be there during their massage so they wouldn't be alone in a hotel room again.
A brief disappointment hit him. He turned to look at Yan Zheke who was secretly glancing at him. She moved her eyes away like a timid deer, shy and terriﬁed. "How adorable... She's not ready..." Lou Cheng talked to himself while heaving a sigh and smiled.
"Sure. Give me a call after a shower!"
Yan Zheke's dimples crept into her cheeks slowly. Beams shone in her eyes. She called quietly,
"Yes?" asked Lou Cheng, confused.
The girl, smiling, turned around without answering and waved before entering her room agilely.
As the door closed, Lou Cheng's mobile beeped for a new text message.
He checked and saw a shy emoji from Yan Zheke. "You're perfect!"
"Cheng, you're perfect..." The line instantly wiped out Lou Cheng's disappointment and sadness. He broke into a laugh, happy and satisﬁed.
Back in his room, he opened the tap and washed his face with cold water, relieving the pain in his head and the weariness in his body.
Massaging with Thunder Roar Zen would consume a great amount of strength and he recovered with regular massage motions. A long physiotherapy had drained him to his limit.
Gazing at his face in the mirror, high-spirited with some weariness, Lou Cheng took a deep breath and started to review his earlier behavior. His attitude was very wrong.
After two days of intimacy and irritation, he felt so disappointed when Ke refused to be alone with him in a hotel room. He almost lost his cool and showed his feeling in his voice. All boys have desires, longing to get closer to their loved one.
It's perfectly ﬁne. However, they shouldn't rush it
The most important thing is to respect what the girl thinks!
Ke is rather conservative and it's her ﬁrst relationship. They've only dated for a month. She needs time to adjust herself upon his confession of love slowly. She surely has such fears for getting very intimate and wants to take things slowly.
Her letting me kiss her passionately is already good enough thanks to my good behavior!
He chanted "respect" many times until Yan Zheke messaged him to go over.
With Guo Qing the third wheel in the room, Lou Cheng still felt his heart swelling as he massaged Yan Zheke's muscles and bruises but it was much more bearable. He no longer needed to cool himself down in the washroom. Yan Zheke held a faint smile on her face, watching him busy like a bee. She urged warmly. "Don't use the Tremor force this time. Coach Shi said tomorrow we'll do some recovery exercise."
No need to relieve the deep fatigue!
Lou Cheng couldn't exert it even if he wanted to. He happily agreed to her and continued to work on her body, dedicated and proﬁcient.
"You two are trying to kill me with your romance and love, aren't you?" Guo Qing smashed a pillow into her face after watching them for a while. She carried on to moan. "I have to wait for Sister Wen to come back to massage me..."
Yan Zheke laughed and said, "Find yourself a boyfriend quickly!"
"Old Qiu doesn't like me..." answered Guo Qing, sulky and unhappy. Realizing she had started a wrong topic, she quickly attempted to ﬁx it. "Let me massage you later. Sister Wen will come back late."
"What about Cheng?" asked Guo Qing, confused, moving the pillow away.
Yan Zheke answered in a low voice, "We don't have to be together all the time."
"Cheng, please let me borrow your girlfriend for ten minutes or so!" asked Guo Qing pitifully, pressing her hands against each other.
She wanted to get some massage as soon as possible to let her body recover for the ﬁnal match.
Lou Cheng smiled and said, "Fine. Only this one time." Yan Zheke's massage ﬁnished at around 4 o'clock. She looked at Lou Cheng eagerly and whispered by his ear, "I'll come to you after a quick massage for Qing."
"Deal," answered Lou Cheng with a sincere smile.
Back to his room, he ﬁrst washed his face with cold water to pep himself up so he wouldn't fall asleep and miss Yan Zheke's knock on the door.
The beautiful knock sounded after 20 minutes browsing forums and Weibo.
As soon as he opened the door, he was stunned by the bright glamour.
Yan Zheke had changed into a white cotton dress, a pink coat, a cute pair of canvas shoes and sleek skin-toned stocking. Her legs looked very long, perfectly straight and a bit obscure. Her black hair hung down like silk, thin brows shone with her bright eyes, adorable nose stood tall and straight, and pink lips were sleek and tempting.
Yan Zheke noticed Lou Cheng's shock, his eyes brightened and face impressed. She scrutinized herself up and down, perturbed.
"It's a bit odd to wear stocking like this... I wanted to go with short socks but the weather is kind of chilly. And I still have some bruises on my leg..."
Then she felt the heat and desire in Lou Cheng's eyes and suddenly came to the realization. She looked away, shy and bashful, and muttered,
Lou Cheng forced himself to withdraw his eyes, his face red and hot. He coughed, brewing some compliments. Yan Zheke stared at her tiptoes, blinking in erratic intervals, her face blushed. She tried to sound casual. "May I take you out on a date?"
She had long decided to reveal her heart by asking him out on a date.
"A date? Where are we going?" asked Lou Cheng, pleasantly surprised.
Yan Zheke seemed quite pleased with herself. "The Ocean Aquarium! Aren't you thinking it all the time?"
"Err? I wanted to go?" Lou Cheng's head operated at high speed. "We'll get there by 4:40. The aquarium closes at 6 o'clock and the ticket ofﬁce opens until 5:30. Visiting there one hour should be enough... We should go now."
Before Yan Zheke turned around, she saw weariness between Lou Cheng's brows and suddenly felt her heart aching.
"Cheng, you look exhausted!" "I'm okay!" Lou Cheng played tough.
Yan Zheke thought about it and put on a slight smile. "What about you rest a little bit ﬁrst? We can leave at 5 o'clock."
She chuckled quietly. "The massage master will give you some gentle rub at your temples!"
Lou Cheng reviewed his own condition, realizing he might forget everything from the aquarium later. He answered with a smile, "That would be great!"
He turned sideways to leave the passage open.
Yan Zheke stepped into the room. The familiar settings reminded her of the massage, her heart beating fast.
Alone with him in this room again... There's no more match tonight... Would Cheng lose control...
What can I do if he loses control and tries to do something to me? How far should I let him probe?
Yan Zheke felt her face burning, heart beating even fast and legs heavy but she continued to walk in the room, avoiding Lou Cheng's eyes. She pointed at the bed by the window.
Lou Cheng raised his head on a pillow and lay as close to the window as possible, leaving the girl enough room to massage his temples.
Yan Zheke ﬁxed her dress, kneeled down on the bed, leaving her feet with shoes on hanging outside. She bent over, reaching one hand across Lou Cheng's head, and started to massage his temples.
The ache in his temples was relieved a lot. The sweet scent of her hair came to his nose. Lou Cheng was completely relaxed, letting the suppressed weariness ﬂood out. He fell asleep quickly in her fondness and tenderness.
Hmm... 15 minutes of sleep...
Yan Zheke's heartbeat was still very fast. She couldn't help imagining that Lou Cheng pulled her down and kissed her passionately.
Should I ﬁght or let it...
Her thought was interrupted by Lou Cheng's long and rhythmical breath. She locked her eyes on him, realizing he had fallen asleep within a few dozens of seconds.
Is he this tired?
Yan Zheke was astonished and in agony about him. Although from an aristocratic family of martial arts, she didn't know the Tremor force would consume one's energy this greatly. In her mind, Lou Cheng was the one with immense physical strength and vigor. She didn't realize how tired he had become even seeing weariness hovering on his face.
Now, when Lou Cheng's fatigue was unveiled in front of her, she suddenly came to realize that her boyfriend was just another human being who had his limits and would feel tired.
Cousin can throw four Tremor punches continuously...
He just massaged me with regular motions and the Tremor force alternately for over an hour... His physical strength is not unlimited. I'm his limit...
Yan Zheke's eyes were red, ﬁlled with tears. She bit her lips slightly. As a faint smile blossomed on her face, she reached her hand out to Lou Cheng's brows.
"This silly boy... Why do you have this frown in your dream? Are you worried about something? Is it this date? Are you worried you will sleep over and miss the date at the Ocean Aquarium? Lost in thought, she saw that Lou Cheng's brows unfold a little bit due to her unconscious smoothing movement. Then she tilted her lips and showed a naughty smile.
Her ﬁngers danced on Lou Cheng's brows as if playing the piano, little by little wiping off Lou Cheng's frown. He slept like a baby, peaceful and relaxed without his usual maturity while he was awake. She nodded, satisﬁed, feeling each line on his face with her ﬁngers softly.
As her ﬁngers caressed and stroked his face playfully, the smile on her face grew brighter. Her ﬁngers moved across his face, drawing a word on his cheeks. Idiot!
"Idiot..." She chanted the word quietly for a few times and burst into a laugh like a little fox after stealing a hen. Her ﬁngers went on to feel her boyfriend's fresh beard and then his lips.
"This bad boy always takes advantage of me..." Her eyes dazed gazing at his lips.
She clearly remembered how Lou Cheng licked and sucked her lips as if tasting the greatest food in the world, how he was busy like a bee earlier, and how he hid his weariness this morning...
Yan Zheke looked drunk in her own thoughts. Looking at the deeply asleep Lou Cheng, she claimed silently.
"Sleeping beauty, I'm your prince!" She brushed back her hair with her ﬁngers and slowly lowered her head, her heart beating loudly and her face turning red.
Gently, her lips pressed against Lou Cheng's. She carefully stroked and sucked in the way she remembered from Lou Cheng. She timidly put her tongue out, feeling the shape of his lips with a guilty conscience.
She suddenly raised her head, feeling her lips, puzzled and astonished.
"Why are his lips sweet?"
Her eyes moved down, seeing Lou Cheng's lips shiny with her lipstick.
No wonder it tasted so familiar...
She chuckled quietly, her eyes blurred and touching. Clouds moved away, revealing the sun and its brilliant shine through the window. When sunshine poured on the sleeping boy and the shy girl, everything seemed bright, tranquil and warm.
Lou Cheng woke up when the light began to fail. In the warm orange lamplight, Yan Zheke was reading the textbook she forgot to put back to the shelf. Her ﬁgure viewed from behind was slim and graceful.
"What time is it?" asked Lou Cheng, puzzled. He reached out for his mobile but his head was still empty.
Yan Zheke turned to look at him but rapidly turned her head back, her face ﬂushing. "6:10."
"6:10..." Lou Cheng's mobile was showing the same time and two missed calls from Sun Jian. His head remained blank for a dozen seconds and then suddenly sobered up. He started to reproach himself, upset. "I, I slept over..."
His loved girl asked him out but he slept over...
Yan Zheke turned her face sideways, biting her lips. She said with a bright smile,
"I didn't wake you up on purpose. You were so much tired...
We'll have many opportunities in the future."
Amused by her joyful voice, Lou Cheng felt much better at once.
"True. We'll have many, many opportunities!"
He got out of bed and put on shoes, intending to wash his face to wake himself up completely before returning Senior Brother Sun Jian's call. Yan Zheke secretly glanced at his lips as he passed by her on his way to the washroom and hastily turned back to the textbook. She said seriously, "We should probably check out."
Their rooms were paid until the next day, but they needed to have dinner, and then cheer for their teammates in the martial arts arena before heading back to old campus together.
Lou Cheng, standing outside of the washroom, was interrupted by a knock at the door, followed by a shout from Sun Jian.
"Cheng, are you there?"
"Yeah! I'm in!" answered Lou Cheng loudly as he turned the door handle.
Yan Zheke behind him just had her stuff packed. She blurted out, "Don't..."
She halted when Lou Cheng pulled the door open, looking at her in great confusion.
Sun Jian standing by the door said with a smile, "Cheng, did you fall asleep? You didn't answer my calls. It's time to check out. We'll go to the martial arts arena together to cheer for them."
"Yes, brother." Lou Cheng turned to face him with a grin.
Sun Jian's eyes locked on his face, astonished and stunned.
He began to tease him with a sneer.
"Yup?" answered Lou Cheng. Sun Jian patted his shoulder and advised earnestly,
"Remember always to wipe your mouth after!"
"Excuse me?" Lou Cheng was confused.
Sun Jian shot his brows upward, indicating his understanding. He walked away towards the elevator, humming, without asking questions.
Guo Qing just said Yan Zheke was not in her room...
"What the heck is going on?" Lou Cheng was completely lost and turned to the washroom. Yan Zheke held her textbook in front of her chest and kept her head low, with two dimples in her cheeks. She said quickly, "I'm going back to pack up."
She ran by Lou Cheng agilely and went straight out of the room. "Strange..." Lou Cheng shook his head as he walked into the washroom. He glanced at the mirror subconsciously.
He was stunned by the pretty, familiar lipstick color on his lips.
"What the heck?" He became wide awake, taking out his phone, a bit annoyed but more amused. He wrote Yan Zheke a message, starting with an
"You rogue girl!"
A smile of joy climbed on his face as that message went through. He had a good taste of the girly scent before washing it off.
Hmm... Peach ﬂavor...
Yan Zheke replied a miserable emoji. "I'm innocent! You pervert! I was massaging your muscles when you pinned me down semi asleep! You kissed me in your sleep!"
"Really?" asked Lou Cheng, adding an emoji with a question mark on top.
Did I kiss Yan Zheke by instinct in my sleep?
What a skill!
Yan Zheke answered with a righteous looking emoji.
Hmm! I wouldn't have left any evidence behind if I could wipe it off without waking you up!
Phew... Lou Cheng broke into a laugh as he was certain the girl kissed him in his sleep. He wished he was awake to enjoy the beauty of this kiss and respond passionately! ...
In the evening, Jiang Fusheng was defeated by a competent opponent, while Guo Qing, Li Xiaowen and Wu Meng passed the ﬁnal test and got the Amateur Fourth Pin certiﬁcate. Li Mao got very lucky in his last match where his rival was injured in his previous ﬁght that he became an Amateur Second Pin ﬁghter.
The ordinary looking, quiet Lin Hua surprised everyone by winning six ﬁghts and qualifying for the Amateur Third Pin, which made her boyfriend Sun Jian a bit jealous.
The next morning, Lou Cheng continued to visualize the Frozen Ground Diagram, memorizing the subtle changes in his muscles, tendons and organs little by little.
He was in no rush as he knew it would take a long time.
At the beginning of the martial arts special training, Geezer Shi clapped his hands. "You all did well in this Ranking Event and didn't bring shame to my face. Today we'll do some rehab work."
He quickly glanced through Lou Cheng, Lin Que and Yan Zheke before continuing with a laugh.
"By the way, the Azure Dragon Squad has requested for the special competition format."
"Ahh?" Lou Cheng and his mates had no clue what the coach was talking about.
Chapter 183: Live Broadcast Again
They had never had any experience with the special competition format, so for Lou Cheng and the rest, although they knew what it was about, they were taken by surprise. The information only sank in after a good ten seconds. Then, one after another, they said,
"Special competition format?"
"What formation does the Azure Dragon Squad have?"
"Aren't they made up of different martial arts club?"
"Why didn't they send in the application when they were ﬁghting the Fearless Squad?"
While facing the non-stop questions from his students, Geezer Shi just replied softly and lightly, "Based on what I heard from the committee, the Azure Dragon Squad doesn't have any formation."
"What? No formation, then why did they apply for the special competition format?" Guo Qing asked.
Geezer Shi laughed softly and said,
"Probably trying to bully us? Especially since our substitutes are weak."
He would never say that what the rival was most concerned was that the two leading players were too strong. They were afraid of Lou Cheng's monster-like physical stamina.
Uh... Li Mao and the rest fell silent. They somewhat understood what the Azure Dragon Squad was planning to do.
They were shocked by Lou Cheng's Tremor Punch and physical stamina. They probably considered that they would have no chance of winning if they ﬁght in the normal competition format. Hence, they thought about using the special competition format. Their strategy was to use the two Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghters to keep Lou Cheng and Lin Que busy. The rest would then take the rest of the team one-to-one.
Sun Jian frowned and said, "Isn't this an insult? Even if they're of Professional Ninth Pin, they only have a pair of hands and legs. Why would they have the conﬁdence to beat us four amateur ﬁghters!"
If each of them throws a punch together, any Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghter would get busy!
Heard of the saying that an army of ants could kill an elephant with their bites?
Although Sun Jian was the leading player on paper, he had put himself to the line of the substitutes. No one felt that it was any wrong. From what they see, the true leading players of the club were Lou Cheng and Lin Que.
"You think they're just woody targets? They would stay there and let you hit them?" Geezer Shi laughed.
Out of habit, Yan Zheke raised her hands and said,
"But the Challenge Tournament is not the same as actual battles. There're boundaries. If they want to use the physical abilities to make it a one-to-one or one-to-two ﬁght, that would be difﬁcult right..."
Once she saw a professional ﬁghter being chased by seven or eight amateur ﬁghters. Although it seemed like the professional ﬁghter was running crazily, he was always looking out for any threats. The mob behind considered that they had more people, and they refused to give up. As time passed and dragged by, because of insufﬁcient physical stamina and speed, they had to split into a few groups until the distance between them were too far for anyone to overcome. Once that happened, the Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghter started his retaliation. He suddenly stopped in his tracks and pounced backwards. Before the second team rushed forward to support the ﬁrst team, he used his utmost force to ﬁght against the ﬁrst batch. He killed one and beat another one till the one was paralyzed. The process repeated itself. After that, none of the hatchet men dared to go too close to him. They kept a good distance. However, with this situation, they could not help but wait for the slowest team. With this, the gap between them and the Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghter just grew.
This was how Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghters would ﬁght when they were outnumbered. To replicate this strategy in a ring competition was impossible to imagine!
What Yan Zheke asked was exactly what Lou Cheng was thinking about. Although he could be considered to have the ability of a Professional Ninth Pin, if he really met with three or more stronger amateur ﬁghters, without the secret skill to control the situation, he could only choose to ﬁght and run at the same time. He had to use his superior physical strength to continuously create opportunities to ﬁght back. In the ring, just ten steps or more, he would already be at its edges. Geezer Shi chuckled and said, "We can analyze the situation in a general manner. Firstly, some martial arts skills are more effective than others for situations where you're outnumbered. For example, the Golden Bell Cover and the Lion Roar. Secondly, when you get out there, it's not only one speciﬁc battle area, you could totally utilize the space where the other two battles are happening. This would help you create
"When Lin Que and Lou Cheng are ﬁghting with the Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghters, wouldn't you be more cautious when you approach them? Wouldn't you be worried that you would be hurt by any second waves? The opposition is a Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghter, such worries won't bother them that much. Once there is some gap, they'll snatch the opportunity amidst the mess to ﬁght. If you all are a tad bit slower in the chase, he'll ample time and ability to surround and attack Lou Cheng or Lin Que..."
"So, even though they may not be in an advantageous position, at least they have a shot at victory."
After listening to his coach's explanation, Lou Cheng and the team was enlightened about the strategy of the Azure Dragon Squad. It was clear that they were not putting in this request out of the blue. In fact, they were thinking about the possibility of averaging out abilities so that they could have a chance to win!
Being clear was one thing, Li Mao and Lin Hua were still a little unhappy. They felt slighted. Even the usually good- tempered Yan Zheke started to pout.
"I wonder if I would be able to somewhat accomplish the Frost Force by Sunday..." Lou Cheng looked over at his girlfriend and thought to himself.
It was not a mission impossible. As long as he memorized the visualization of the Frozen Ground Diagram and how his body changes, the remaining two days, he could spend them all training for the Frozen River Diagram.
While the thoughts in his mind churned, he could not help but look at Lin Que. He wanted to know how brother-in-law was doing after recovery. In comparison to the past, the qi and blood of Lin Que had signiﬁcantly weakened. In the midst of his calmness, he exuded the aura of "silence." Obviously, he had already reached the threshold of the Dan stage, but it was difﬁcult to estimate just how far he had gone.
At this moment, Geezer Shi clapped and said,
"The ones participating in the Ranking Event do a rehabilitation training, and the rest of you, the common training. We can discuss the matters of the Azure Dragon Squad later. I've emailed all of you the information."
"Don't go and watch any videos related to special competition format. It's no use! Search for how amateurs surround and ﬁght Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghters. Best to look for those who used obstacles to help them with the ﬁght. Gather some past experiences!"
... This morning, after Lou Cheng completed the usual daily training routine, he put aside more time to train his mind so that he could master the visualization and the changes in his body. He felt that he had made good progress.
After a busy day ﬁlled with sweetness, he returned to his room and washed up. He turned on his computer and logged into QQ. Lou Cheng sent a message to Yan Zheke: "Ke, Little Ke, are you done with the materials?"
As the days passed, their feelings for each other deepened. They grew closer and the terms of endearment for Yan Zheke just naturally increased. He just called her as he pleased, but more often or not, he would fall back to the ﬁrst term of endearment that he gave her, "Coach Yan". It meant something special to him.
As for the materials of the Azure Dragon Squad, he ﬁnished watching them during the unimportant class in the afternoon. Yan Zheke had a professional class during the same period. She had to pay attention, so she could only watch the material as and when she had some time. She responded with a cat emoji. The cat was throwing out a piece of salted ﬁsh.
"Call me Coach Yan!"
"Yes, yes, yes. Has Coach Yan completed the materials?" Lou Cheng sent an emoji with a sneaky smile.
Yan Zheke only had two short lessons in the night. She returned to the room with Zong Yanru at 8 p.m., and had been looking through the materials since. Unlike normal days, she did not revise her work. Instead, she took a short walk and waited for Lou Cheng to end his class.
This was enough to show how important the weekend match was for her. No matter how they arranged the order, she would be able to participate.
"Yes, I'm done..." Yan Zheke sent a blur looking emoji. "It was like what Coach Shi had said. Mo Zicong is a disciple from the prestigious Daxing Temple. He had inherited a skill similar to the Lion Roar. Zhu Tao had practiced the Iron Canvas Shirt since young, so his martial arts skills were rather famous in Songcheng."
They were all of Professional Ninth Pin who were experts in ﬁghting mobs!
"No need to worry. Your brother and I will separately hold on and pull Mo Zicong and Zhu Tao. The competition will not go as well as they wish!" Lou Cheng sent an emoji scratching its head.
Among the four ﬁghters of the Azure Dragon Squad, Mo Zicong was the strongest. He was not only blessed with great strength, he also trained for the Throwing Elephant Skill. Without the Thunder Roar Zen, he probably could only take four to six blows.
The other three, Zhu Tao with the Iron Canvas Shirt skill, his hits were direct and difﬁcult to deal with. Deng Hua's "Thunderous Tsunami Iron Fist" was famous. As for Xu Zheng, he was weaker in comparison, but he had a rather solid foundation of the Bagua Fist. Yan Zheke sent a bright-eyed emoji.
"Hng, when did I worry? I've already gathered some tips!"
Lou Cheng sent back an evil smile. "Then, please give me some advice, Coach Yan!"
"Beg me, just beg me and I'll tell you!" Yan Zheke sent a sniggering emoji.
No one would care that much when they're a couple. Lou Cheng immediately returned with an emoji throwing itself down at its feet in admiration.
Yan Zheke sent an emoji with arms crossed and hand on the chin.
"First, always keep a distance with each other. Second, never attack at the same time. Best if you have a second in between. This will prevent the rival from using Swing Force and any other skills. Third, be patient. As long as you and my cousin have enough time, you'd be able to beat your rivals. They're the ones who should be worried..."
While he read the message, he praised Coach Yan. He completed the details for her while they discussed and analyzed the information.
At this time, in his fan forum, the number of posts increased.
One was from "Lush Gives Birth to Light".
"Sunday afternoon, 3:30 p.m., Songcheng TV station will do a live broadcast of the advancement round of the third team. Songcheng University Martial Arts Club vs Azure Dragon Squad! Special competition format!"
Within Songcheng University's forum, the administrator posted an announcement on each microsite.
"Sunday afternoon, 3:30 p.m. Host, Martial Arts Club will ﬁght the Azure Dragon Squad. Crucial ﬁght for advancement!" This time, both the tv station and school's Propaganda Department had started their publicity!
In a blink of an eye, in the midst of the expectations of Yan Xiaoling and other, it was Sunday afternoon.
In the ofﬁce of the Shanbei University Martial Arts Club that was a couple hundreds of miles away, Xu Wannian entered the ofﬁce and saw his Junior Brother Peng, leisurely surﬁng the internet.
"Junior Brother Peng, you didn't go out to have fun?" He asked in surprise.
Peng Leyun smiled and said, "Watching one round of the preliminaries." "What's there to watch? We're going to the nationals next week, at Huahai." Xu Wannian could not comprehend the actions of his Junior Brother.
At this critical moment, as the pillar of the martial arts club, why is Junior Brother Peng watching the preliminaries so leisurely?
Peng Leyun chuckled and said,
"This could be one of our hard battles next year..."
That scent of the "starry skies," he could not forget. Since then, he always paid attention to any related matches.
As his thoughts swirled around, he sank into the deep abyss of his thoughts, like his usual self.
Chapter 184: Touting
The live broadcast by Songcheng television station cut its scene to both sides of Songcheng University martial arts arena spectators' stands. The stands were already ﬁlled with many people, and most of them were young and bubbly teenagers.
"There're so many people!" The commentator-aka-host, Fang Juexiao, could not help but exclaim. "Listen, listen to the cheer, and listen to crowd movements. In what way does this look like a low-level preliminary? Even if you said this is a North-South district contest, I believe that the television audience would have believed in you!"
His partner, who was also the guest invited for this tournament, was a 38 years old Dan stage Mighty One. He grinned and said, "I've always heard that Songcheng University Martial Arts Club looks average, but today I'm here, I feel that they look really good. It's just that there aren't many seats for them, as compared to our home team."
He's Songcheng "lifetime" club member, a leading player substitute for the North-South district contest as well as in the Preparation Game. He was a Professional Seventh Pin ﬁghter. Due to his friendly characteristic as well as his cheerful attitude, he was popular with the local district and was often invited as a guest by the television station.
Fang Juexiao ﬂipped through the documents in his hands as he looked in front and commented, "Old Gan, the rumor you heard was right actually, just that it was kinda outdated. Indeed, Songcheng University Martial Arts Club at the district contest of National University Martial Arts Games was a loser a few years back. They were being eliminated every time and soon their popularity plunged. Having hundreds of students attend to watch their ofﬁcial tournament was good enough. Last year, Lin Que joined them and they spent quite an effort to promote their club. Moreover, they've consecutively gotten victories after that, so they ﬁnally managed to get back some popularity. In the end..."
He paused. As if a book critic, he lightly patted the table, shook his head and said, "In the end, they still failed to charge through the group match stage. At that moment I was thinking, that's it. For Songcheng University to return its popularity in the martial arts circle, they require at least three years. Who knows Lou Cheng pops out of nowhere this year. Not only is he a talented player, can react fast to last minute's changes, he knows how to create big news as well. I heard that previously he managed to rescue a student who jumped from the building and created a big woo-ha in school. The news was even printed on the third edition of Songcheng City Newspaper, and published on portals."
"If that's the case, won't Songcheng students be curious? They'll want to go to the tournament to take a look at how Lou Cheng looks like and how're his martial arts skills. Furthermore, the Martial Arts Club this year has succeeded in charging through the group match stages and even made Fearless Squad become their defeated opponent. With all these factors, their popularity will be back in no time!"
Gan Le cooperated and added,
"Like what the old saying says: It's easy to break a chopstick, but they become unbreakable when we put all of them together. With Lou Cheng, Lin Que would no longer be alone. I've watched their battle videos previously and I'm really going to say this. I wonder where Coach Shi from Songcheng University found Lou Cheng. Such talent is not easy to ﬁnd!"
"Furthermore, he and Lin Que are still in their freshman year. Perhaps next year, or the year after next, the difﬁculty of the preliminaries in Songcheng City division will only depend on one factor, which is whether Songcheng University Martial Arts Club is participating in them."
"Isn't that exaggerating?" Fang Juexiao enjoyed this type of conversation topic. Having different views on the topic only made it more interesting!
"I've discussed with the members of my club and all of them agreed in unison that Lin Que had reached the threshold for Dan stage. It's very likely that he'll go up a level by this year. As for Lou Cheng, as long as he built a solid foundation, leveling up will certainly not be difﬁcult for him, earliest by next year or latest by the year after next. By then, Songcheng Martial Arts Club will have this two Dan stage ﬁghters lead the team. Not to forget that there may be another one to two Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghts emerging from the team. By then, won't they be a hot topic for advancing in the martial arts circle?" Gan Le beamed and said.
Yan Xiaoling, who was currently watching the live broadcast online, typed rapidly on the keyboard and sent a post to the forum, "Hey, what a shameless commentator we have today. I'm embarrassed at how he kept praising our Lou Cheng and Songcheng University Martial Arts Club. However, I'm going to say this. Please continue, and don't stop!"
"How about this year? Old Gan, how far do you think Songcheng University Martial Arts Club could go?" Fang Juexiao tried to steer back the topic, in case they've strayed and gone out of line.
This was how a well-trained professional host should do.
Gan Le smiled and said, "Well, I dare not guarantee anything, in case I offended anyone and get beaten up. I'd only say, after today's victory, as long as Songcheng Martial Arts Club don't stray away from their goal, being the ﬁrst group to advance will be no problem. After they advanced, it'd depend on their luck in the polling. Honestly, if they were to face with a perfect 'Fearless Squad" again, they might not win. Sure, they do have players who're stronger than the members from Fearless Squad, but they have players who're on par as well." "Haha, Old Gan, you're really a very experienced guest!" Fang Juexiao teased before adding, "That would also mean that for today's matches, there'll be at least one team who's advancing and if the team did really well, they'd immediately obtain 250,000 Chinese yuan from the broadcast revenue as an award. For a martial arts club, that's considered as proﬁt!"
The eight advancing team would each obtain 250,000 Chinese yuan from the broadcast, and with each advance, they would obtain more. Getting into the top four would give them 350,000 Chinese yuan including a skill on mediation visualizing stance, and getting into the ﬁnals would give them 500,000 Chinese yuan including a martial arts skill. The champion would be awarded additional 600,000 Chinese yuan and a Dan stage unique skill paired with visualizing.
Gan Le silently "shot back".
"If the team just get into the Top Eight, they'll not proﬁt much."
"Why?" Fang Juexiao somewhat knew the reason, but he asked in order to satisfy the curiosity of the audience. He then added, "Take the Azure Dragon Squad for instance. They're formed by four Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghters from four different martial arts schools. They're paid monthly for a ﬁxed amount, but that can't be included in the amount received in the preliminaries?"
Gan Le, who was an experienced ﬁghter, revealed the true answer,
"Certainly not. That's the remuneration for teaching the members and protecting the martial arts school. Since they've already participated in the preliminaries, who do they claim for their medical fees? To participate, they need to protect their bodies, who are they going to claim the loss of being unable to ﬁght in other small tournaments? Moreover, martial arts tournaments are somewhat dangerous, so they'll need to pay insurance for each match. I'm sure for every match they won, they got to pay the insurance company some amount? If you count in all these expenses, the Azure Dragon Squad would already need to spend minimum another 100,000 Chinese yuan for three months of small teams' tournaments!"
"When you've advanced and obtained part of the broadcast revenue, how can you not distribute them to your members as a reward? As a rule, they'll need to distribute half of the 250,000 Chinese yuan. The remaining half will be used to pay off the cost. It's really hard to say that they've earned any proﬁt."
"Haiz, it's due to the popularity of the internet news that the television station started to get generous in giving such cash reward. In the past, one would only get proﬁt from division advancing."
Fang Juexiao agreed with a nod and said,
"Thank Master Gan for helping us to reveal the mystery beneath it. However, the situation of each group competition is different. Some used 100,000 Chinese yuan to buy three months of advertising, some used the same amount to get rare real combat experience, whereas some volunteered for it without taking a single cent since they don't have many expenses. Yup, I'm saying Songcheng University Martial Arts Club!"
"Okay, the tournament is about to begin. Let's have our attention back onto the arena. Regarding the unique competition format, Master Gan and I have said a lot on it, so I'll no longer elaborate. However, I got to emphasize this. Martial Arts Spirit is about displaying your best qualities, and defeating the strongest opponent!"
"Eh, I saw the referee went on the ring. Guess the 250,000 Chinese yuan worth of match is starting soon!"
"Ah? We get money for advancing?" Lou Cheng was shocked upon hearing it and asked Sun Jian who sat beside him.
He didn't think that battling in preliminaries would earn him money!
Sun Jian lowered his voice and said,
"I heard from the school uncle that if we can advance and get the broadcast fee, the biggest share would be spent on the Martial Arts Club. For instance, if you won 250,000 Chinese yuan, the plan is that the school gets 100,000 Chinese yuan for daily management and maintenance. The coach gets 50,000 Chinese yuan as a reward. Lin Que and you are professional rank ﬁghters, so each get 20,000 Chinese yuan. The substitutes
like Li Mao, Yan Zheke, Hua and me, erm, yup I'm a substitute,
will each get 10,000 Chinese yuan. Guo Qing will get 5,000 Chinese yuan. Li Xiaowen gets 2,000 Chinese yuan. Specially trained members like Jiang Fusheng, Wu Meng and Cai Zongming gets a thousand each. The remaining will go into Martial Arts Club treasury money, so that we'll not need to claim from school for any celebration or meals."
As an Amateur Third Pin ﬁghter, it was likely that Lin Hua can go on stage today.
"20,000 Chinese yuan?" Lou Cheng gasped.
He was still worrying about the money for summer break training for Dan stage and the dating expenses. Never did he expect 20,000 Chinese yuan would fall from the sky! Even though he still had a personal saving of 12,000 Chinese yuan, but summer break was still a long way to go and there were be many dates in between, who knew how much it would be left by then? This was especially when he was planning to go on a fun trip with Yan Zheke during the weekends!
As for his torn martial arts shoes and daily medicine, Yan Zheke had silently settled them for him. Though when going on dates, Yan Zheke would not always ask him to treat just because he's the guy and would initiate to pay for her own share. In other aspects, she would nag at him to be thrifty, for she couldn't bear for him to spend so much.
Cai Zongming happened to discover this matter one day and he agreed to it. He said that if only one party was giving, then this relationship wouldn't last long. Both parties must know when to give and when to receive, so that they would treasure this relationship.
"20,000 Chinese yuan..." Lou Cheng did not look at himself in the mirror, but he knew his eyes were gleaming with joy. Previously in the preliminaries, he used his thirst for victory to motivate him to battle. Yet now, in his eyes, Azure Dragon Squad were the people that would help him to earn money and to give him a bright future in advancing to Dan stage. They were ones that could beneﬁt his relationship with Yan Zheke
Moreover, Azure Dragon Squad had somewhat offended him a little. Due to their special request on the tournament rules, Yan Zheke had requested Lin Hua and Sun Jian to guide her on the things to take note in group attacking yesterday afternoon, which meant no dating this week!
Azure Dragon Squad was the evilest devil of all!
We must ﬁght them!
Win! We must win!
He could feel warm breath coming out of his nostrils as he purposely raised his animosity towards them to the peak. There was no need for any teammate or Coach Shi to agitate him!
Great, I've just mastered "Frozen River Diagram" today!
This time, Geezer Shi clapped his hands to wake Yan Zheke and the others up from their mediation. He grinned and said,
"Today the players who'll be battling are Lin Que, Lou Cheng, Sun Jian, Li Mao, Yan Zheke and Lin Hua!"
Six against three!
… Inside the guest team locker room, Mo Zicong placed down his phone and stood up. He took a glance at Deng Hua, Zhu Tao and his other teammates, before starting to pump his teammates up.
He closed his eyes and said deeply,
"I know that for this tournament, no one expects us to win. If we don't request for special competition format, I doubt we'll win too. Even after we've requested for it, the bet also forecasted that we'll lose."
After saying that, he pointed outside the locker room and said,
"You all heard that? Everyone is cheering loudly and excitedly outside. It's obvious that no one treats this as a well- matched battle!"
"Can all of you imagine that? In the pre-tournament commentary, they had already mentioned what Songcheng University Martial Arts Club would do if they win!" "You know what? Perhaps Songcheng University had already started discussing on how to distribute their money!"
"What does this mean? This means in their eyes, we're not an azure dragon, but just a loach! A loach which they can torture in whatever way they want, not to mention losing this tournament!"
Slam! All the Azure Dragon Squad team members stood up, looking mad.
This is obviously despising us!
This kind of despising makes one angry to the core!
How can they think of winning even before we start battling?
Are they treating us as dead?
Mo Zicong raised his arm and clenched his ﬁst as he shouted, "Let's go out, and let them know that we're not as easy as they think!"
"Let's go out to tear away their arrogance faces and knock them out!"
"This is our battle to win back our reputation!"
Deng Hua, Zhu Tao and the others instantly followed and shouted,
"Battle to win back our reputation!"
In front of the computer, Yan Xiaoling had already changed her sitting posture. She was focusing on the screen and had forgotten to reply the post. …
At Shanbei University Martial Arts Club, Xu Wannian stayed back and sat beside Peng Leyun. They were sternly and attentively watching the live broadcast.
Did Junior Peng just say that Lou Cheng will be my curse for this lifetime?
Chapter 185: Pressure
After announcing the names of the players, Geezer Shi grinned and said,
"I'm not going to tell you how to battle. Yan talked it quite well yesterday, which covers all the points. No wonder she's a good student who can participate in special training and obtain the scholarship."
His words made everyone in the locker room burst into laughter, which caused Yan Zheke's beautiful face turned red and she wanted to bury herself.
Yesterday's afternoon during the practice, she took a notebook and recited all the details on the reasoning of moves under all kinds of situations that were being taught, as well as including the counter attacks for each move.
Lou Cheng, who was sitting beside him and trying to hold his laughter, could still remember the intent face on his girl and her serious tone as she recited. "... I'll not talk about the importance of keeping a distance from your opponent. Their intention is clear, which is to divide us into three battleﬁelds. Through the ability to interfere in the battles to create the situation to their advantage and gradually make things go their way..."
"We can't let the nose lead ourselves and become isolated. We need to collaborate with one another, and make these three different battleﬁelds into one. Only through this way can we make the situation to our advantage..."
"I've divided the possible situations as follow."
"First, if we're being isolated, Lou Cheng and Lin Que would need to terrorize the opponent. Each of you needs to aggressively attack your opponent so their teammates will rush over to help. If this doesn't work, both of you need to get closer to your own teammates. This will then again depend on your opponent and the situation we're in at that point of time..."
"Second, in the case where Lin Que is isolated in a tight situation..." "Third, in the case where Lou Cheng is isolated in a tight situation..."
"Fourth, in the case where the opponent's 'Elephant Trumpet' impact is greater than expected..."
"Ninth, Should the situation suddenly change where we become passive, both Lou Cheng and Lin Que must not care about our defeats or victories. However, we can make use of this. You can pretend to save us and set a trap to counter them. This will create a heads-on situation..."
"Tenth. If the battleﬁeld is in a messy state, senior brother Sun Jian, senior brother Li Mao, senior sister Lin Hua and Qing, we may not need to just ﬁght with the opponent we're assigned to. We're totally free to help Lou Cheng or Lin Que in this mess, and let their players lose their ﬂexibility..."
... "No matter what, the key is ﬁrst to defeat one of their Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghters. It doesn't matter which one. Even if our substitutes were forced to leave the ring, we can still win Azure Dragon Squad... so we must know how to play with this idea..."
Lou Cheng heard of a serious man was a handsome man, but yesterday afternoon, he realized that a serious woman was also a beautiful woman, and extremely lovely. Yan Zheke at that time could really exhibit such beauty and graciousness.
That's the reason why he was somewhat jealous when Li Mao and the others joked about addressing her as "Coach Yan". He tried to stop them and only allowed them to call her "Leader Yan"!
"Coach Yan" was a term that belonged to him only!
Yan Zheke, with her blushed face, noticed a faint smile on her quiet and calm cousin's face. She wanted to stamp her foot and snort. However, she knew that it was not the right time for her to ﬂirt with her boyfriend in front of everyone. She lowered her head, looked at the tip of her foot and spoke softly, "Coach Shi, what I've said is just the possible scenarios, but not detailed enough..."
While speaking, she stretched her left arm behind Lou Cheng and gently pinched him.
"I, I never laugh!" Lou Cheng innocently looked at the girl. "I had a hard time enduring!"
"Humph, I thought we promised to share a lifetime of ups and downs!" Yan Zheke secretly glared at him and pouted her lips. She looked slightly pleased as she felt less awkward and embarrassed after pinching him.
It does feel nice to have a boyfriend!
As a "lonely old man", Geezer Shi pretended to be unaware of their interactions as he smiled and said, "There're endless permutations in battleﬁelds. Even if you can list them all down, they'll not be able to remember all of them. What's important is to grasp the main idea and not the details, so that all of you can be ﬂexible with the idea. The reason why I dislike telling all of you what to do in a battle is that I want all of you to learn how to manage and handle situations. Not every battle that you ﬁght is a Challenge Tournament where there's a coach to analyze the situation for you and prepare you for it."
"One only remembers through mistakes, so that you'll not do it again the next time!"
Lou Cheng thought over his words and nodded slightly. His master was indeed an experienced real combat ﬁghter.
"Great, go out then. Time to test your capabilities." Geezer Shi turned around, as he led the team towards the entrance to the ring. He silently chuckled as he thought.
I can't wait for all of you to lose this battle and accept your failures. Why would I still analyze the situations for group battle in details for you and point out those issues?
Naive! Childish! Wait till the mud settles and the water is clear, I'll conclude the situation for you all!
At that moment, Geezer Shi felt as if he was the biggest spy in the Martial Arts Club.
Just as the Martial Arts Club stepped out of the locker room together, groups of spectators instantly started cheering.
"All the way, Songcheng University!"
Right after that, the live broadcaster started to introduce the names of the players.
"For Songcheng University Martial Arts Club, the players here with us today are Lin Que..." He purposely paused after reading the name as he watched nearly ten thousand students stand up from the spectators' stand and cheered in unison.
"Come on, Lin Que!"
Waves of cheers were heard, which were strong enough to rock the stadium. Lin Que, who usually stayed calm and quiet, could not help but shiver a little.
After the cheers began to subside, the broadcaster then continued,
He suddenly raised the tone of his voice as he seemed to be full of passion.
This made the whole arena burn with passion again. The students hit their seats with the inﬂatable cheer stick, creating a loud "Tum, tum, tum" noise as they exclaimed.
"Come on, Lou Cheng!
Lou Cheng shivered as he heard the loud and joyful cheers, which made him feel the adrenaline rush in his body.
He could feel the support from his schoolmates, which indirectly was added to his pressure.
They were too positive and excited, to the extent of not putting Azure Dragon Squad in their eyes. They seemed to think that with Lin Que and himself, the whole of Martial Arts Club could easily defeat the opponent!
The same went for senior brother Sun Jian and the rest of the teammates. They had even started planning how to use the divided money reward after they obtained victory! If in the end, they did not obtain the victory which they expected, and if he let down everyone's hope, he really could not imagine how awkward the atmosphere would be...
It seemed that they could not afford to lose this battle, and the responsibility was born by both Lin Que and himself...
Within a split second, many thoughts went through Lou Cheng's mind. He started to have the urge of winning and the fear of losing. He could not help but turn his head to look at Lin Que, then at Yan Zheke.
Lin Que's eyes were darkened as it gave out a strong urge to battle, like a frozen lake that showed no ripples. Yan Zheke's big round eyes gave off a sense of excitement, with a bit of agitation and concern. She, too, could feel that everyone was too positive about the outcome, and it was as if they had overlooked many things.
They looked at one another and nodded their heads. Both of them understood each other's concerns, but this also made Lou Cheng less anxious. At least not all of our teammates are excited, and some of them are still aware of the situation.
So what if we have the strong urge to win and fear of losing?
I want to win in every battle, and I fear to lose in every battle!
Lou Cheng took a breath and walked in front of Coach Shi towards the ring.
At the same time, the broadcaster was still reciting the names of the players. The Martial Arts Arena reverberated with the teammates names such as "Li Mao", "Yan Zheke", "Sun Jian" and "Lin Hua." As this was their ﬁrst time experiencing and facing such joyful crowd, they could feel their rapid heartbeats and the adrenaline rush within them.
Li Mao's body started to tremble and he felt nervous again. Luckily, he knew that he was only a substitute, not the main players, so his own failure would not affect the outcome. This then made him felt better. On the other side of the ring, Mo Zicong, Deng Hua and Zhu Tao, who were wearing indigo as the base with Azure Dragon martial arts suit around, conﬁdently and angrily climbed up the stairs made of rock.
Looking at the four black-coated referees on the ring, Mo Zicong shut his eyes and recalled the scene at the locker room with his teammates.
He had purposely exaggerated some of the words. This was to stimulate his teammates' emotions, not only for today's battle, but also for their future advancement.
Before "Azure Dragon Squad" was formed, there were only one elderly and one strong Ninth Pin ﬁghters in each of the four ordinary martial arts schools. Not to mention martial arts schools opened by High-ranked Dan Stage family ﬁghters, even to compete against Hongluo Martial Arts School would be too tough for them.
When the four martial arts schools collaborated, "Azure Dragon Squad" was formed. Mo Zicong's and the others' fames started to spread widely across Songcheng martial arts circle. They surpassed Hongluo Martial Arts School and was well- established as the second most possible team that could advance in the preliminaries. During this period, not only had they became more popular, they had also beneﬁted a lot from it.
If they were to lose today's battle, "Azure Dragon Squad" preliminaries journey would come to an end, and it was hard to say whether next year they could achieve a good result for advancing.
It was easy for the frugal to become extravagant, but it is hard to reverse the procedure. Mo Zicong, who was used to be the leader of "Azure Dragon Squad" no longer wished to return to the past, nor to return to his original status of a deputy supervisor at martial arts school. He wanted to attract and gather all the talents from different schools through the preliminaries. He wanted them to understand that unity made them stronger clearly. He wanted to motivate the four martial arts schools to build the "Azure Dragon Club"!
When he opened his eyes, Lou Cheng and his teammates, a total of six opponents, were already standing opposite them. Since they had requested for the special competition format, they would need to face with the opponent's advantage of having more members!
"If only I have Lou Cheng or Lin Que's abilities, everything will be much easier..." Mo Zicong thought as he jealously took a glance at his opponents.
As more people were involved in the battles, the special competition format did not have talk time for both parties. Each of them only had a minute to prepare.
When Li Mao and the others had ﬁnally adjusted their moods, the referee waved his right arm downward and announced,
The moment after he said that, the three Professional level ﬁghters from Azure Dragon Squad dashed toward. Though Mo Zicong was big in size and was famous for his strength, and his movements were swift as well. He expanded his muscles and dashed towards the opponents like a wild elephant. Deng Hua and Zhu Tao had purposely run behind him by half a step.
From the bird's eye view shown on the large screen, they were like sharp arrows that shot out and Mo Zicong was the arrowhead!
Faced with such situation, Lou Cheng and Lin Que had abided to the analysis by "Coach Yan". They pounced forward and attacked separately from each side. Yan Zheke and the others kept their distances apart and followed Lou Cheng and Lin Que.
Seeing that the two parties were almost colliding, Mo Zicong suddenly stood still and rooted both his feet onto the ground. He was like a giant elephant that slowly crossed the river as his body muscles moved and his abdomen sucked in.
A horrifying "Elephant Trumpet" sounded. Lou Cheng felt a buzz in his mind. His qi and blood in his chest churned rapidly as he slowed down his steps. Yan Zheke and other Amateur ﬁghters were experiencing worse as they stumbled and felt dizzy.
Luckily they were prepared for Mo Zicong "Elephant Trumpet". They bit the tip of their tongues with their teeth, and the sharp pain awakened their minds once again. They endured the discomfort as they returned to their positions, keeping their distance.
Just then, Mo Zicong bloated his abdomen again. His face turned red then white, and his Adam apple moved.
Again, another loud "Elephant Trumpet" sounded, and it sounded right beside Lou Cheng, Li Mao and the others' ears. Though they just bit their tongues, the attack made them stumble once more. All were affected except Lin Que, for he was already well-trained in martial arts. He moved and clogged his ears with pressure, which offset most of the impact. Mo Zicong had actually continuously launched "Elephant Trumpet" twice. This was never seen in the past!
Mo Zicong stood on the spot after the "Elephant Trumpet". His body shivered and his face looked pale. For a moment, he had no energy to follow up an attack.
The reason why he did not launch twice consecutively in the past was that even if he did, he knew that he would not be able to seize the opportunity to attack his opponent after that. However this time, he had two more teammates by his side!
Deng Hua and Zhu Tao, who had practiced for this for several times, exhaled via their mouths to offset the impact caused by Elephant Trumpet, and followed by biting the tip of their tongues. Now that their minds were clear, they stepped forward in front of Mo Zicong. One of them blocked Lin Que, while the other pounced towards Sun Jian!
Chapter 186: The Frost Force
Zhu Tao's shaved head and the beard made him looked very ferocious. However, he was a good-tempered otaku who always spent most of his time between his home and the martial arts school.
He actually wanted to take the opportunity to raid Lou Cheng and take out this strong enemy. But he also knew that Mo Zicong had forced himself to deliver the second "Elephant Trumpet". It was weak enough that it could only bully some amateur ﬁghters at best. As someone whose physical ﬁtness had reached the level of Professional Ninth Pin, Lou Cheng wouldn't be affected by the attack too much. At worst, he would experience a bit of dizziness and discomfort, maybe losing his sense of balance for several seconds.
Therefore, he really couldn't say that he was conﬁdent in his ability to seize the opportunity and take out his opponent. If he was even a bit careless, then he would be forced to clash head- on against Lou Cheng, losing more than he gained.
Lou Cheng was a ﬁghter who had reached the perfect level of Solemn Silence and had great control over his own body! Zhu Tao stepped on the ground hard and pounced towards Sun Jian, like a cheetah. As his muscles bulged and his skin glowed greenish black, he twisted his waist and threw out a common but ferocious step-up Forward Punch.
He had watched the collection of battle videos of Songcheng University Martial Arts Club, and also found the videos about ranking events for several of the substitutes. He knew that Sun Jian was the strongest ﬁghter among the four amateur ﬁghters on the ring, even though he was also the most unlucky one, who failed the ranking event.
Sun Jian was struck by the roaring "Elephant Trumpet" and his tongue had also been in the wrong place, so it was too late to bite it again. Right now, he walked with an uneven stride, like in a cotton ﬁeld, with shaky steps, barely keeping himself from falling on the ground.
Of course, he was only dizzy and uncomfortable instead of being in a daze or a coma. So, he still reacted to the sound attack of Zhu Tao timely. He bounced his back, shook his shoulder, pressing his right ﬁst directly in the case he couldn't stabilize his waist and was unable to ﬁght with his legs. Bang!
Zhu Tao threw out a punch to stop his rush and weak attack as he also rushed to get in front of him. Sun Jian almost fell down as he tried to dodge because he lost his balance. Yan Zheke, Li Mao, and Lin Hua tried to rescue him, but with their shaky footsteps and staggering bodies, they had no choice but to watch the evil bald man lean his body slightly, using his left arm to throw a hook at Sun Jian's lower abdomen.
Pooh! Zhu Tao timely controlled the force, to avoid the interference of the referee. Even though he had controlled his force, Sun Jian still felt a burst of pain, clutching his stomach as he fell to the ground. He was pulled away immediately by the referee, who was bending his body next to him, and was sent out of the ring to prevent him from incurring extra injuries when the others traded blows.
When this referee left the battleﬁeld, at the edge of the ring, another referee immediately replaced his vacancy.
This was the reason this battle needed at least four referees! When Zhu Tao seized the opportunity to defeat Sun Jian with his sound attack, Deng Hua, with the Mohawk hairstyle, also confronted Lin Que.
Although Deng Hua didn't know enough about Lin Que's unique skill, "Meteor force," he still understood the great power of this skill because he had watched it make the Mighty One, Wei Shengtian, of the Professional Eighth Pin and Dan stage, shake all over and become paralyzed. After a feinting a movement in front of Lin Que, he slipped to Lin Que's side, slightly bent his body, shook his muscles, twisted his waist, and threw an aggressive blast punch.
As he launched this punch, there seemed to be a tiger roaring in the air. It was actually formed from the air turbulence produced when Deng Hua's muscles were exerted, along with the sound produced by his breathing when he punched. Because the ferocity of this punch could be sensed from the roaring sound, it was called "Powerful Punch with Tiger Roar". Lin Que seemed to be in a hurry to stop Zhu Tao's attack, so he didn't parry. He bounced his spine explosively, leaned his body to the other side, jumped, and moved forwards rapidly.
"This is an opportunity!" Deng Hua realized it at once, so he hooked the ground with his ten toes and exerted strong force to catch up with Lin Que. He cut downwards with his ﬁst, towards the enemy's right shoulder, so rapidly and violently that it even produced the roaring sound like a tigers roar or the sound of the wind.
He controlled his timing properly and precisely while Lin Que just stepped forward with his right foot, unable to kick behind himself. Lin Que also couldn't defend by moving his arm backwards, so it was a little bit late for him to protect that vital spot and ﬁght back against the enemy!
Even as a well-experienced ﬁghter, Deng Hua still felt a trace of joy within his heart. "If I can defeat Lin Que by taking advantage of his impatience and panic, I'll be the ﬁrst hero today and I can boast about this for years." Pooh! As soon as his cutting punch hit Lin Que, he noticed that Lin Que's body was trembling as his blood and power seemed to shrink into his body. His shoulder also sank. With this trend, he dissipated most of the power from the punch with his shoulders that were shaking and bouncing.
Lin Que crawled forward to the right side and his body was like a seesaw. As long as he strengthened his qi and blood, twisted his waist, and moved his spine, his left leg could sweep backwards.
His foot generated a strong sound of wind and made Deng Hua, who had less power after attacking with a strong punch just now, unable to dodge!
Deng Hua didn't dare to disregard this attack. He stabilized his waist, set a good stance, and punched out with his left hand, like a hammer. Bang! He felt the power of Lin Que's attack was very strong, completely beyond his original estimation. His right arm was rebounded towards his ribs, as it confronted Lin Que's kick, causing him to feel pain. It was difﬁcult for him to maintain his center of gravity.
Yin-yang Twist included the force of the two parties.
And while his body was shaking, Lin Que turned around with the power of a Front Sweep. Lin Que's temple suddenly bulged and his body seemed to be brewing a volcano.
Accompanied by the meteor ﬂying through the sky in his mind, Lin Que swung his arm rapidly, quickly punching out his ﬁst towards the middle of Lin Hua's chest and abdomen.
He fought with high tension in the beginning, going all out in accordance with Yan Zheke's plan, he pretended to rescue others but actually used it to counterattack his opponent.
As Deng Hua endured the pain in his ribs, he suddenly took a deep breath and sank his right arm, just in time to put it in front of the opponent's ﬁst.
He suddenly felt like he had been hit by a hammer as the rapid shock spread all over his body, going as far as to inﬂuence his inner body. It seemed that even his teeth began to tremble and wanted to separate from his gums.
De, De, De... Deng Hua felt every muscle, muscle fascia, and bone was unstable, so he was unable to use his power at that time. But he spat out the breath that he just sucked in, visualized the corresponding image, and created a reverse vortex like a wind tunnel to eliminate most of the shock.
While Deng Hua was enduring the uncomfortable feeling and his rolling qi and blood, his head suddenly shrank and his body rolled backwards, just barely escaping from the front sweeping lash of Lin Que's left arm.
He dared not ﬁght directly with his opponent, so he took this opportunity to ﬂash to the side like a civet. After he escaped from Lin Que's attack successfully, he realized that he was very fortunate to survive such a dangerous situation!
Lin Que stopped pretending, exerting force into his two legs as his spine wriggled up and down like a dragon. He suddenly rushed to the side after his left arm has already set up, using his elbow as a weapon.
Deng Hua dodged successively, then walked around and kept ﬁghting with Lin Que. Although his ﬁghting range was growing smaller under the active attack of his opponent, he still showed no sign of failure.
At this moment, Zhu Tao had already rushed in front of Yan Zheke. His glowing black skin bulging, he exerted force into his two legs and punched out suddenly and powerfully. He totally ignored Li Mao and Lin Hua behind him.
After defeating Sun Jian, of course, I have to deal with this beauty who can pull back her center of gravity and control the ability of meditation. And it was said that she is Lou Cheng's girlfriend, so ﬁghting with her could inﬂuence the emotion of my greatest enemy effectively.
If there are only two amateur ﬁghters left among the amateur members of Songcheng University Martial Arts Club, I won't be afraid at all. Even if they're all ﬁghters of Amateur First Pin, I can defeat them easily!
The two "Elephant Trumpet" and sound attacks at the beginning decided the result.
Pa! The black brick under Zhu Tao's feet cracked. His ﬁst punched out like a real hammer, making bombing sounds.
Yan Zheke had recovered a little and she knew that as long as she could block the blow that she could get rescued by her partners. So she didn't panic and she took a quick breath. Then she held back her uncomfortable feeling, stabilized her waist, and set up her arms to defend herself.
Bang! As soon as she stopped Zhu Tao's ﬁst, she also took a step backwards in order to counteract his attack.
Under normal circumstances, she should barely be able to resist this punch. But she failed because of the follow-up attacks from her opponent. Also, because her condition in all respects hadn't completely been adjusted and her attacking and defending powers were not enough after just recovering from "Elephant Trumpet".
After she stopped for an instant, she could not bear but once again step back. Her light and agile body began staggering.
Lou Cheng had already recovered before Zhu Tao defeated Sun Jian. When he saw that Yan Zheke was in danger, he seemed to rush to her without thinking, like an eagle opening its wings in order to attack the back of his enemy. This strategy was called "relieve the besieged by besieging the base of the besiegers".
Seeing this scene, Mo Zicong, who just got his breath back, felt a little happy after he noticed that Lou Cheng had made the most unwise choice because he was so worried about his girlfriend.
He exerted force into his two ﬁerce and powerful legs and immediately rushed to Li Mao, who was attacking Zhu Tao. He wanted to take the opportunity, while Li Mao was still inﬂuenced by "Elephant Trumpet," to defeat him quickly.
As long as Lou Cheng couldn't beat Zhu Tao within one or two hits, then the situation could be reversed!
And Zhu Tao was not a fool. Once he found Lou Cheng was about to attack him, he would certainly give up Yan Zheke and begin to ﬁght with Lou Cheng by working around instead of trading blows with him.
You're still too tender and young!
However, at this time, he saw Lou Cheng, who was rushing forwards, suddenly step on the ground and break the black brick. He rebounded and turned around with this stepping force. He rushed towards him aggressively, looking as though he had prepared for this for a long time or like he had expected this situation before because he controlled the time so properly that it made him unable to dodge on time.
"In accordance with the guidance from "Coach Yan," once she is in danger, we can't rush to rescue her because that would only cause chaos and give our opponents the opportunity to ﬁsh in troubled waters. The best choice is pretending to rescue her but actually attacking the enemy..." Lou Cheng thought this in his mind. He had adjusted his muscles before he rushed to Zhu Tao, so now he was ﬁnished with his preparations.
Confronted by with Lou Cheng, with cold eyes and an unstoppable attack, Mo Zicong took a deep breath, exerted his strength, and prepared to ﬁght back directly.
He noticed that although Lou Cheng was able to use "Tremor Punch" continuously, the power of each punch was weaker than Lin Que's.
I don't believe that I can't defend against a single "Tremor Punch"! I don't believe I can't ﬁnd an opportunity to dodge! As he meditated and visualized, his muscles shook and his abdomen sent out the sound of the Elephant Trumpet, which was deep but had no effect on his enemy. His two hands gripped together as if he was seizing a "giant elephant." He exerted force into his legs, straightened his twist, threw his arms ferociously, and hit towards Lou Cheng.
Crack. A lot of cracks spread out on the ground, like a spider web.
This was "Throwing Elephant," which meant the power of an elephant!
Lou Cheng's eyes looked like an icy lake as he also visualized a scene where the river was turbulent within his mind.
While he rushed to the front of Mo Zicong, he stepped on the ground hard, twisted his back, bounced his spine, and started off with a Mountain Blast Punch.
At the same time, the cold current in his body started to ﬂow towards his right ﬁst as the "big river" within his heart began rapidly freezing, inch by inch. Even the crystal clear spray which had splashed into mid-air froze.
He threw out a punch which containing Frost Force!
Chapter 187: What Should I Do?
There was a dull bang. The big screen paused when Lou Cheng's ﬁst collided with Mo Zicong's. Ripples seemed to break out from the point of impact, causing some of the audience to forget the worry they felt when Sun Jian was kicked out of the ring. They stared intently at the clash of ﬁsts and forgot to cheer for their own team.
This confrontation happened only for an instant, but Mo Zicong felt as if it lasted for an entire century. While holding his guard up against the effects of the tremor, he felt cold currents seeping into his body along with his opponent's power instead. It instantly froze his arms and spread all over his body, making him feel like he was staying overnight in a world of ice and snow, tens of Celsius beneath the freezing point, naked.
He couldn't help but tremble uncontrollably. His lips immediately turned blue from the cold as one thought came to dominate his mind. It also wasn't easy for Lou Cheng since Frost Force wasn't a unique skill that could increase power. While Mo Zicong was born with great power and was outstanding in this aspect among all the ﬁghters of Professional Ninth Pin. He was only inferior to Ye Youting, who was like a superman with great
power. In addition, he still practiced the ﬁghting style "Throwing Elephant" which was known for its ability to increase power, so if he punched out with full strength, its power was as strong as the erupting power of Jiang Guosheng in the Hongluo Martial Arts School.
The power Jiang Guosheng attacked with when he used his full strength had touched the edge of the Dan stage!
So, Lou Cheng dared not wrest this attack for fear that it would hurt his right arm because the attack contained a strong power which felt like it could throw an elephant. After he understood the situation, he couldn't defend it by only moving backwards, so he bounced his back and took the initiative to swing his center of gravity backwards.
He took three steps backwards. From the beginning, he stepped on the ground so hard that he even broke the black brick, but at last, he unloaded the power, stepping on the ground normally with the brick still intact.
Even now, Mo Zicong heard the strong beating of his heart, pound, pound, pound. His heart was constantly surging with hot blood to ease the chill all over his body.
What is martial art this?
There isn't even a way for me to resist or guard against it!
He looked at Lou Cheng in astonishment, wanting to catch up with him, but his body was still trembling and his legs were still stiff. It was difﬁcult for him to take even one step forward, so he had to hope that the temperature of his blood could help him recover from this condition.
Seriously, What martial art is this?
… After Zhu Tao noticed that Lou Cheng had rushed towards Mo Zicong, he didn't hesitate anymore. He exerted force into his legs and took a step forward to catch up with Yan Zheke who was staggering backwards. He was about to take the opportunity to defeat her before she found her center of gravity, while she couldn't ﬁght back.
Bang. He shook his right arm and punched out directly towards the opponent's neck. When Yan Zheke realized that she couldn't resist this attack, she simply gave up her center of gravity, bent backwards, kicked a high-ﬂying kick, and then she performed the Lazy Donkey Rolling on the Ground.
At this time, Li Mao and Lin Hua arrived just in time. One of them tightened his muscles and launched a whip kick from behind towards the middle of Zhu Tao's legs. The kick even brought the sound of wind. The other one sank his waist, cut his ﬁst downwards and attacked the temple on his opponent from the side.
Both of them didn't hesitate as they aimed for the vital parts of their opponent! Confronted with this situation, Zhu Tao seemed to have predicted it, so he bounced his waist and back, bulged his glowing black skin, and actually moved a small step to the left side forcibly. In the end, Li Mao's foot only kicked his thigh and Lin Hua's cutting ﬁst only hit on his right shoulder.
The attacks of Li Mao and Lin Hua were too weak to break the Iron Canvas Shirt of their opponent.
While Zhu Tao, on the contrary, had borrowed some power from their attack and rushed forwards. As he was about to pass by Yan Zheke, he stretched out his hands to grasp her right arm. And then he fell on the ground relying on the inertia and threw her out of the ring.
Yan Zheke felt like she was walking on air as she forced herself to be calm. She slightly adjusted her body in the air and controlled her center of gravity, then bounced her spine, exerted force on her waist, turned over like a sparrowhawk, and dropped onto the ground lightly. She stood on the ground ﬁrmly without falling, but the only problem was that she was already outside of the ring. "I'm so angry, but I still have to keep smiling so I won't affect the other members and Cheng..." she pursed her lips and thought. While she was watching the match in the ring, she walked along the edge of the ring towards the home seats.
No matter how much the preparation was or how much the analysis was, it still wasn't enough in a real battle with endless permutations.
As he succeeded in this attack, Zhu Tao felt relieved like a big stone within his heart had landed. He took several steps forward and turned around by the power of walking. Then he rushed towards Li Mao and Lin Hua.
This time, he didn't need to worry about being besieged by anymore!
Could ﬁghting with two amateur ﬁghters be called a siege?
... At that time, Lou Cheng had unloaded most of the power and borrowed the remaining power to exert it into his feet, breaking the black brick under his feet as he rushed forwards more ferociously by using the borrowed power.
Whether the students in the arena, or the audience in front of the computer or TV screens were surprised, Mo Zicong missed the opportunity when Lou Cheng lost his center of gravity and stumbled backwards. But when Yan Xiaoling, Brahman, and the others thought of Peng Chengguang in the last ﬁght, they nodded like they understood everything and said to themselves,
"Well, this is Tremor Punch!"
Only Peng Leyun, who sat in the ofﬁce of Shanbei University Martial Arts Club, slightly frowned and stared at Mo Zicong's lips that had become cyanotic and pale.
As Lou Cheng rushed towards his opponent, who hadn't completely recovered yet, Lou Cheng quickly adjusted his body slightly to correspond with the "Frozen Ground Diagram" within in his mind, so that part of his muscles, fascias, and joints could be ready for it. And because he just started to learn the Thunder Roar Zen, he had yet to practice this martial art until it was ingrained in his bones and body. All he could do was inﬂuence his internal organs indirectly with a deep respiration exercise. It meant that he needed to prepare for a
while before he could attack with the Frost Force, so he couldn't do it instantly.
And because he was only able to control a bit of this martial art, It also could not be combined with "Thunder Roar Zen," nor could he use the unique skill of the latter, which was called "Severe Warning."
Lou Cheng rushed in front of Mo Zicong within two steps. After adjusting his body completely, he was ready to ﬁght again, so he began picturing the rolling and turbid river again.
Crack! Lou Cheng stepped on the ground so heavily, completely breaking the black brick which had already been stepped on and broken. He bounced his ankle joint and knee, straightened his back, threw his shoulder, and struck out with a Forward Punch which seemed very ordinary. While at the same time, the stored force in his body also broke out. The power was added to the waves and created a frozen feeling which also magniﬁed the Power of Frost, changing the force into a cold wave. Then it rolled towards his ﬁst.
Lou Cheng visualized the scene of coldness striking the river with a strong power that suddenly froze it. It was covered with frozen layers and even the spray scattered in the air was frozen like a crafted work of art.
Affected by this, the muscles, the viscera, and fascia in Lou Cheng's once body again changed subtly, creating some strange waves. He changed the chill rushing towards his ﬁst into an icy force.
This was the essence of Frost. This was Frost Force!
Pia! As Lou Cheng struck out with Forward Punch, a white steam appeared around his ﬁst which looked like the steam people breathed out in the cold of winter. This was because he had not practiced Frost Force enough, causing its momentum to leak out. If he was skillful, then he could launch a punch without any Frost Force leaking and all the force would be contained within his ﬁst!
While Mo Zicong was confronting this punch and thinking of the previous experience, he really didn't want to defend again and struggle with that cold hell. But he had to ﬁght back because his frozen legs had only recovered a little. If he rushed to escape from this punch, he would give Lou Cheng an opportunity to strike him more ferociously.
He suddenly took a deep breath and sent out the deep sound of "Elephant Trumpet" from his abdomen. But this time, the sound was a trembling sounding like a tropical animal that cried after arriving at the north pole.
Mo Zicong sank his back and bulged the rigid muscles in his arms. He crossed his two hands in front of his body to defend himself.
Bang! As this punch landed on Mo Zicong, the cold frost current in it also went into his body. Once again he had the feeling that his whole body had been frozen quickly, and he even felt like he had lost his consciousness.
"Cold! I'm Cold!"
His teeth involuntarily chattered as he felt the temperature of his body decrease rapidly. His heart began to beat heavily in an attempt to resist the invasion of coldness.
"This is Frost Force..." Peng Leyun who sat in the ofﬁce of Shanbei University Martial Arts Club whispered to himself.
"Is this Frost Force?" Xu Wannian looked at Junior Brother Peng in astonishment
Snow suddenly appeared on the screen of the computer in front of them and the computer made some noises. It seemed that the computer was affected by the external electromagnetic ﬁeld. …
While Yan Zheke was being thrown out of the ring, Lin Que narrowed the distance with Deng Hua and suddenly went into a state of "meditation".
He took a breath, pressed all his force, spirit, qi, and blood to a certain extent and then released it suddenly.
While the force was released, Lin Que suddenly jumped forward, like a leopard who ﬁnally cornered his prey.
The safe distance and reaction time that Deng Hua had suddenly disappeared as Lin Que closed in on him before he could dodge.
"There is a sense of the Dan stage..." He was so surprised that he crossed his arms in front of his body without thinking after he took a breath. As soon as he set up a defending posture, Lin Que released a punch that was like a meteor. This punch was abnormally quick and even contained some remaining force.
The moment Deng Hua was hit by this punch, he felt like a bomb exploded as a great blast wave rolled over his body and made every bone in his body shake, every muscle tremble, and every part of his blood roll over!
And it also touched the residual effect from the last attack he had forced himself to bear. So, it even affected his inner organs, making him feel uncomfortable and disgusting.
Therefore, he was a little bit late when he tried to use his martial art to counteract the shaking effect. Then, he saw Lin Que throw a punch at him again!
… Facing with the counterattacks of Zhu Tao, Li Mao bore the tension in his heart and didn't ﬁght with him directly. While he slipped to the side and cooperated with Lin Hua, one of them aimed for the throat while the other one aimed for his temple.
Relying on his Iron Canvas Shirt, Zhu Tao suddenly shrank, slightly lowered his body, turned around, and bumped against the ﬁst of Li Mao.
Bang! Because the height and orientation had changed, his forehead was hit directly and made a sound like a hand clapped of an ancient clock. Meanwhile, Lin Hua's ﬁrst hit on his shoulder and was bounced by his bulging neck muscles.
Bang! Zhu Tao bumped against Li Mao strongly and made him stagger, taking a step backwards. Li Mao barely managed to stay in the ring.
Then this evil bald man bore the kick of Lin Hua without any defense, relying on his Iron Canvas Shirt and accurate judgment. After which, he caught up with Li Mao using big steps and opened his arms to hit him violently. Li Mao couldn't dodge, and after he defended against these two attacks, he felt that he was about to lose this battle. At this moment, Lin Hua caught up with them and exerted force into his feet, launching a whip kick towards a vital part of Zhu Tao.
While in this critical moment, Zhu Tao didn't even defend himself. He slipped, spun, and arrived behind Li Mao. After he bore the back kick without any defense, he forcefully narrowed the distance to Li Mao and punched towards the spine of his opponent.
However, he only touched his opponent and didn't exert force in the attack. The referee pulled Li Mao away and led him out of the ring.
During such a short time, there was only one amateur ﬁghter left among the four amateur ﬁghters. So when Lin Hua saw Zhu Tao was about to attack her, she instinctively chose to dodge around.
Zhu Tao was satisﬁed because he knew that his team would win this battle in the end. As long as Mo Zicong and Deng Hua weren't defeated within several attacks, then this battle would be easy for them to win.
He glanced at the other two battleﬁelds and found Mo Zicong standing there with his strong and big body, which made people feel at ease and safe. At that moment, Mo Zicong stood there with his hands crossed in front of his body to stop the ﬁst of Lou Cheng.
"Keep defending. I'll come to aid you right now!" Just when Zhu Tao came up with this thought, his eyes suddenly froze.
Because he saw that Lou Cheng had already taken back his ﬁst and turned around without looking at Mo Zicong anymore!
Is he silly?
Zhu Tao stood there and waited to see Mo Zicong attack Lou Cheng violently. However, all he could see was that his leader who was always called "Elephant" was obviously trembling with a blatantly glowing white face. "What happened?" Zhu Tao forgot to chase Lin Hua and was so stunned that he even stopped walking.
Lou Cheng bent and stared at Zhu Tao. Behind him, Mo Zicong fell to the ground like a pillar falling down to the ground, making a loud sound and splashing a little gravel.
Lu Zhishen killed Zhen Guanxi with three punches, and this is the challenge tournament, so I only used two punches!
"Did he defeat "Elephant" so easily?" Zhu Tao was shocked. Then he heard the sound that another ﬁghter had fallen to the ground. He turned around and saw Deng Hua lying on the ﬂoor, retching. He also noticed that Lin Que turned around and stared at him just like Lou Cheng, with indifferent eyes!
On the left side stood Lou Cheng. On the right side stood Lin Que. He suddenly felt utterly desperate!
What f*cking happened just now? Lin Hua also noticed the situation had changed. She was standing near Zhu Tao and looking at him with a little embarrassment.
If Lin Que and Lou Cheng start to attack him together, they'll deﬁnitely trade ferocious blows. It would be too dangerous for me to take part in their ﬁght rashly. I would become a burden to them. Since it's like this, I have nothing to do even if I'm still in the ring.
What should I do now?
She seriously began to consider this "difﬁcult" problem.
Chapter 188: A Wise Man Submits to Circumstances
However, Lin Hua didn't spend much time worrying about it. When Lou Cheng and Lin Que pounced towards Zhu Tao from both sides like ﬁerce beasts, the bald tough man abruptly ran to the side, with bulging muscles underneath his swarthy skin while springing his backbone. In the audience's eyes, the tall and bulky ﬁghter was running like a little white rabbit who got shot with an arrow.
Then he jumped out of the ring, out of the ring…
All the cheers came to an abrupt stop as the whole arena lapsed into silence. No one here had expected Zhu Tao, with his awe-inspiring presence, to suddenly surrendered without even a moment's hesitation. He looked like he was escaping from a ﬁerce beast's cave.
Beneath the arena, Zhu Tao didn't feel ashamed at all. On the contrary, he was congratulating himself for making a prompt decision at that crucial moment without any hesitation. regardless of whether Lou Cheng had just ﬁnished a difﬁcult battle or not, Zhu Tao wasn't sure if he could even defeat Lou Cheng in a one-on-one match. The terrible Tremor Punch combo attack was still fresh in everyone's minds!
Not to mention that Lin Que was also in the ring gazing at him with piercing eyes. Was there any better choice for him than surrendering?
It was not because he was cowardly, but because his opponents were too powerful and scary!
A wise man submits to his circumstances!
He had intended to raise his hand and call the referee to stop the game. But considering it was him who just threw Lou Cheng's girlfriend out of the ring, he was afraid that Lou Cheng would pounce on him and beat him up before the referee could come and stop him. As a result, Zhu Tao decided to dodge and jump off the ring on his own initiative, just to be safe! Lou Cheng paused, watching Zhu Tao's former position as the poor guy jump off the ring, which amused him.
Having never expected that this seemingly tough, bald- headed guy would surrender without hesitation, Lou Cheng couldn't help telling Lin Que the truth,
"To be honest, I almost use up all my stamina…"
Zhu Tao shouldn't be so frightened!
Lou Cheng was not lying. Since he had just started learning Frost Force and was far from mastering it, it took him more energy to use the method each time. He had originally planned to use Frost Force followed by Thunder Roar Zen, which was then upset by the Double Elephant Trumpet. As a result, he had to gather all his energy into a second Frost Force and give his opponent the ﬁnal blow, which consumed almost all his physical and mental strength.
However, Lou Cheng didn't regard Zhu Tao's surrender as a matter of rejoicing, for he was sure he would win the match anyway. If the competition hadn't stopped, Lou Cheng would still be able to throw a Thunder Roar Zen at his opponent, not to mention his Professional-Ninth-Pin strength and the help from his Brother-in-law.
He would even act like Lin Que's assistant and wait for him to defeat Zhu Tao. How nice it would have been!
Hearing what Lou Cheng had said, Lin Que turned and gave him one word,
"Likewise?" Lou Cheng was stunned for a moment but soon understood what Lin Que meant. Staring at his Brother-in-law in astonishment, Lou Cheng found his eyes clear and steady, showing he was not lying.
"What a coincidence…" Lou Cheng couldn't help forcing a smile. Then he saw the referee raise his right hand and announce loudly,
"The ﬁnal result is that Songcheng University Martial Arts Club wins!"
The audience burst out yelling, both cheering for the victory and in regret for the ﬁnal battle ﬁnishing so quickly.
What an explosive and breathtaking competition. The only shortcoming was that it was too short!
They were all left feeling unfulﬁlled!
With the referee's announcement, Lou Cheng's thoughts were soon replaced by the joy of winning the match and getting the bonus. Lou Cheng raised his hand and applauded to acknowledge the crowd. Afterward, he came back to his team's position, at a brisk pace in the wave of cheers, where he greeted Sun Jian, Li Mao, and the others with a ﬁst bump, one by one.
When Yan Zheke's turn came, Lou Cheng choked down the urge to hug her for fear that she might get embarrassed. He laughed in a low voice and said,
"I owe it all to Coach Yan's advanced preparations!"
Yan Zheke gave him a big smile, showing her snowy teeth, and then raised her chin.
"Hum, now you know you won't lose by listening to Coach Yan's instructions?"
She turned and looked to the side. Feigning a calm tone, she added, "Your Frost Force was also quite powerful…"
Yan Zheke's praise greatly satisﬁed Lou Cheng, and he felt so proud of himself. He was even happier than when they won just now.
What was more, even without using the Jindan in his body, he could still master Frost Force on his own!
"I should have no problem with getting the advanced bonus," said Lou Cheng with great joy.
At this moment he took the opportunity to make some plans. "We have been working hard these past three months. Now, we've ﬁnally got a good result. How about using the bonus to travel on Labor Day break and celebrate?"
Yan Zheke's eyes lifted as her face ﬂushed.
"Let me think about it!" "Think about what?" Lou Cheng asked half-jokingly, and he was now very pleased.
The girl didn't reject his invitation immediately, which meant he still had hoped!
"Hum, it depends on whether the tourism spots you chose satisfy me, and whether you can behave yourself!" Yan Zheke pretended to be annoyed, but her smiling eyes gave her away.
Geezer Shi, who had been looking at them silently, could not help complaining in his mind,
"It's a problem that this guy hasn't run into any trouble yet…"
"Why don't you come and comfort your master? All you know is how to ﬂatter your girlfriend!"
"I'd rather have a dog as my disciple instead of you!" …
On the other side, Mo Zicong and Deng Hua made it back to Azure Dragon Squad's position with the help of others. While one of them was pale and trembling, the other still felt dizzy and would retch occasionally.
Hearing the audience's cheers, all the substitute ﬁghters were upset, so they set Songcheng University Martial Arts Club as their common enemy.
"Songcheng University Martial Arts Club was really powerful, so are Lin Que and Lou Cheng. Actually, we still had a chance just now, but I underestimated Lou Cheng's strength since I didn't know he had mastered such an odd force…" Mo Zicong took a deep breath while criticizing himself seriously.
In fact, he was sincerely convinced by Lou Cheng's strength and didn't regret losing the competition. After being forced to ﬁght recklessly, he had no chance to resist Lou Cheng's Frost Force. However, Mo Zicong couldn't speak his mind out and admit that he was not Lou Cheng's match. He should give hope to his team and thus create a chance to integrate the four martial arts clubs!
Deng Hua followed his topic. "I also made a mistake. Er, I never expected that Lin Que would have initially learned to gather his qi, blood, and force…"
"All in all, it's a glorious defeat, and we'll still aim to advance from group competition when we come back next year!" Zhu Tao also seized the opportunity to save some face.
Upon recalling the match just now, he felt frightened, as if Lou Cheng and Lin Que were still gazing at him.
The two were likely to be in the Dan stage when he met them in the ring next time.
… In the studio of Songcheng TV station, Fang Juexiao put on a wry smile and said, "Though it was indeed an explosive match, wasn't it too short? How long have they been ﬁghting against each other, less than one minute?"
"Almost…" Gan Le laughed. "Don't worry, it was enough to attract an audience, and we still have spare videos to ﬁll the vacancy."
"Yeah." Fang Juexiao nodded. "Old Gan, I'm still thinking about the two blows Lou Cheng threw at Mo Zicong because they were so weird. Could you please analyze it for us?"
Gan Le nodded. "Okay, let's look at the screen. It's a screenshot of Lou Cheng and Mo Zicong's match, in which we can see Mo Zicong's pale face and blue lips clearly, as if he was suffering from hypothermia. We all know that Lou Cheng is good at 24 Blizzard Strikes, which belongs to the Unique Skills of the Ice Sect, so we have reason to believe that he has supernatural ability or special talent, which helped him master one of the core forces in Unique Skill of the Ice Sect in advance, before reaching the Dan stage!" "I'll explain. Before we reach the high-ranked Dan Stage, all the martial arts movements we learn are relatively simple and plain, focusing on how to gather our strength. Each school has its own secret know-how in this respect. Once the strength- gathering skill is combined with a visualization method, it will develop into Force, the core of any unique martial arts skills."
"I'd go so far as to say that whatever school of the Ice Sect Lou Cheng belongs to, he can be one of the most important disciples in that school."
"I see…" Fang Juexiao echoed. "Then what about Lin Que? It seems like he has once again made great progress according to the skills he used today?"
Gan Le made a positive response.
"Yeah, he had previously learned how to withdraw strength. Still, remember that I once predicted he would reach the Dan stage by the end of this year? Now I'll correct it since he is likely to achieve it in the ﬁrst half of this year!" …
While listening to the match commentary in the video, Yan Xiaoling sent a post excitedly.
"Hey, will somebody please explain the core force of the Ice Sect?"
She added the Unparalleled Dragon King and Road to the Arena in the main post.
The Unparalleled Dragon King soon replied, "Aren't you in charge of admiring Lou Cheng? Why are you asking a technical question?"
Eternal Nightfall, Yan Xiaoling, answered back sarcastically,
"Don't look down upon me! I'm good at not only admiring him, but also eating shit, no, self-deprecation!" The others openly made fun of her for this, but she never got annoyed. Instead, she was willing to cooperate with them and even fond of self-deprecation, which earned her the title of Shit-Eating Moderator in Lou Cheng's fan form.
"I don't know what to say."
"She's really worth the title of Northern Shit-Eating Demon…"
Brahman, Unparalleled Dragon King, and other familiar net friends clicked to like her one by one.
Finally, Unparalleled Dragon King gave a detailed explanation,
"The so-called Force is actually the core of a unique skill, without which even physical invulnerability movements would be useless with no more than 30 to 40 percent of its original power…" "Only ﬁghters at the Dan Stage or above could learn this level of kungfu. Neither their body-controlling ability nor physical condition was adequate enough to meet its needs. Though ﬁghters at the Body Reﬁning State can barely make an attempt, their Force can hardly display a special skill effect such as freezing or burning their opponent…"
"Lou Cheng has not reached the peak of Body Reﬁning State yet, but he is still able to freeze someone with his Force, which suggests he might have a supernatural ability or some other special talents. Damn it, I just remembered he can use the Power of Blaze!"
"What the hell is it?"
Eternal Nightfall, Yan Xiaoling, replied with the emoji of a circling ﬁgure,
"Thank you, Dragon King. Though I'm still a little confused, I know it's really powerful! I'll fall in love with him all over again! Ah, why should the match be so short? I've waited all week for Lou Cheng's several-minute performance! I'm feeling aggrieved, upset, and sad… Why couldn't he show some mercy to his opponent and stay in the ring a little longer?"
Brahman sent a crying face. "Little Changye, I'm more depressed than you. How could my idol master the core Force of the Ice Sect so fast? I expected him to join Longhu Club after graduation and inherit the unique skills of the Fire Sect…"
"Anyway, he mastered the Force and will surely have a brilliant prospect!" Nie Qiqi and the others made the same comment.
Okamoto's Fan suddenly said, "Am I the only one that noticed there was a substitute girl in Songcheng University Martial Arts Club who could score nine points?"
"You're not the only one. I was about to say something when the match was over…" This Poor Monk Names Himself Randomly replied, "I even want to attend this year's college entrance exam and apply for Songcheng University. Then, I could join the Martial Arts Club!" Seeing this reply, Yan Xiaoling giggled and said to herself,
"I'm already here…"
She again added Unparalleled Dragon King and asked him with pleasure, "How far do you think Lou Cheng and his teammates will reach in the preliminaries?"
"They should have no problem advancing from the team match, but there will be less hope for them to advance further since their opponents will continue to be more powerful. With the knockout still more than one month away, who knows how much progress Lou Cheng and Lin Que will make? We shouldn't try to predict it so early…" The Unparalleled Dragon King dared not comment.
Shu Rui, the reporter of Songcheng TV station, interviewed Azure Dragon Squad ﬁrst since they were in a hurry to leave. Then she went to wait outside the locker room of the champion team, for the purpose of interviewing them one by one!
Liu Que was the ﬁrst to come out. This cool and calm young man made Shu Rui wince a little since she recalled Liu Que's dry humor last time.
She asked cautiously, "Lin Que, is an interview convenient for you at present?"
Lin Que nodded.
Shu Rui cautiously selected her words and said, "Lin Que, your pounce towards Deng Hua just now was more explosive and powerful than usual. Does that suggest that you have preliminarily learned how to withdraw your strength?"
Lin Que answered seriously,
"That's a secret." "Secret? We all know what that means!" Shu Rui was almost driven berserk.
Chapter 189: There Is No Way out of Man-made Calamity
"Keep smiling, keep smiling..." Hanging onto her ﬂawless and professional smile, Shu Rui said,
"Then classmate Lin Que, what's your assessment of your performance in this competition? Are you satisﬁed, or you do think it's not as good as it could be?"
Finished speaking, she winked, innocently looking ahead at Lin Que, hoping that this amateur wouldn't make any more sarcastic remarks.
Lin Que was silent for a few seconds, and then said slowly, "I've just met the minimum requirement."
"Just met the minimum requirement? Why would you give yourself this kind of assessment? To decide how to fell a ﬁghter of the same rank in such a short span of time, no matter what the ofﬁcial evaluation is, it could safely be considered outstanding, correct?" Shu Rui keenly seized this point to phrase it as a question. Lin Que said solemnly, "The ﬁrst time I did the Tremor Punch, I wasn't able to string them together fast enough, so he was able to dodge."
At that time, even though he'd spent a portion of his strength by using the Yin-yang Twist, and he'd had to borrow some additional strength. It wasn't like martial arts was a supernatural thing. It's boundaries and levels could be arranged in different ways. There were still parts of this power that he couldn't understand and could only rely on his physical bodies' resistance. For this reason, he'd been affected after he'd used the Front Leg Sweep linked up with Meteor Force, and had had to gather his breath. He was slow by half a beat and was evaded by Deng Hua.
If he had handled it a little better, Deng Hua perhaps could have defeated by his ﬁrst counter-attack!
"Only when the body's essence is at the peak of the body reﬁning stage can you accomplish this. You're already pretty good, why be so brooding?" Shu Rui said, raising her eyebrows. She felt like she was getting to get a vague grasp on Lin Que's conversational technique. If he only mentioned speciﬁc ﬁght details, it should be okay!
"If there's an insufﬁciency, you just have to ﬁnd the reason. If your body's essence isn't good enough then you have to work hard to improve it." Lin Que replied deliberately.
Shu Rui shifted her gaze, sweetly smiled, and said, "So, Classmate Lin's meaning is that you'd like to as quickly as possible enter the Dan Stage, and smash through the body's limits?"
"Mmm." Lin Que wasn't modest, nor was he arrogant. He simply nodded his head dully.
"Haha, this amateur isn't too hard to ﬁgure out! I've got his number, he's just a stubborn donkey! A reporter like me only comes around once every 100 years." Shu Rui boasted to herself, and then asked curiously, "Your Tremor Punch and Lou Cheng's Tremor Punch really don't seem the same. The jabbing and pullback techniques have a deﬁnite difference from those of 24 Blizzard strikes, can you tell everybody what they are?" As her voice faded, her heart started pounding; she knew that she'd asked the wrong question, and could already predict what Lin Que's answer was going to be.
Just as expected, Lin Que indifferently responded with one sentence.
"That's a secret."
"Mysterious f*cking secret!" Shu Rui wanted to put her face in her hands and sigh, but she had to maintain her demeanor while in front of the camera. She could only look on helplessly, then nod towards Lin Que, and step away from him towards the locker room entrance.
After pulling herself together, Shu Rui continued to interview Martial Arts Club members coming out of the locker room. She asked Geezer Shi what his goal was regarding their ﬁnal position in the preliminaries, Sun Jian what he thought about the bitter defeat during the second Elephant Trumpet, Lin Hua about how felt about his last-minute comeback... Since the previously broadcasted hefty bonus was soon to become a reality, Li Mao and the others were appropriately excited, which was perfect when it came to having interviews. This made Shu Rui ﬁnally able to rest easy. Her only worry was that Songcheng University Martial Art Club's Coach Shi
seemed to lack interest towards their advancement in the preliminaries.
"Thank you Guo Qing for your cooperation." Shu Rui said with a small smile, approaching the end.
Guo Qing's face was aglow. She replied hurriedly, "Thank me for what?! It's no problem!"
Shu Rui glanced a few steps outside the locker room entrance, and mentioned somewhat carelessly, "Is classmate Lou Cheng still inside?"
"Yeah." Guo Qing answered quickly. Following her answer, her expression became strange and she added, "Reporter Shu, are you waiting to interview Lou Cheng?" "Yes! He's the great victor today." Shu Rui replied without the slightest hesitation.
Guo Qing opened her mouth as if to say something, but in the end only came out with one sentence, saying it as if it were a profound warning.
"You may have to wait for quite a while..."
"That's okay, this isn't a live broadcast." Shu Rui didn't mind.
Before when the interviews with the Azure Dragon Squad had been placed after the competition in the broadcast, she'd been somewhat rushed. Now however, the station had already switched the program and decided to broadcast the scenes in a different order, putting Songcheng University Martial Arts Club last. In other words, this wasn't an "immediate" live broadcast.
Since it Isn't a live broadcast, of course, I could wait! How long could he possibly dawdle?
Guo Qing looked at her meaningfully, said no more, and left the Martial Arts Club.
In the locker room, Lou Cheng was still applying ointment to Yan Zheke's arm.
Before during the competition, Yan Zheke actually had not had any major collisions. It was actually due to the rigid stance of her arms that she'd received a few bruises. Also, the ﬁngermarks of her opponent remained from when she had been thrown, as well as a slight muscle tear, but all in all she didn't have very many areas that needed treating, and was better off than Lou Cheng. During the entire ﬁght, while he'd only delivered two punches towards Mo Zicong, the soles of his feet had smashed quite a few bricks.
While operating at such a high level, you could end up getting these kinds of high-level injuries. Applying the ointment and kneading it into unleashing the effect typically took a few minutes at most, but after showering, Lou Cheng had been stroking for over 10 minutes and it still was not ﬁnished.
Seeing that the locker room had become quieter, and that the others had already gone, he quickened the pace and ﬁnished kneading.
"You should help me." He handed the ointment over to Yan Zheke with all smiles.
Yan Zheke pursed her lips, let out a cute humph and said,
"You're too slow!"
Everyone knows this about Lou Cheng!
Despite her words, she still took the jar of ointment, scooped out a handful, and applied it. After about two minutes, with everything ﬁxed, Yan Zheke went to give it back, but instead heard Lou Cheng say quietly,
"I still have an injury..."
"Where?" Yan Zheke blinked, bewildered and concerned.
"Here..."Lou Cheng opened his mouth, and using the tip of his tongue, pointed out a small crack on his tooth. "Bite myself when I was resisting the Elephant Trumpet!"
If I get a kiss from Yan Zheke, it'll heal completely!
Yan Zheke smiled cheerfully and pursed her lips, causing dimples to appear. She used her pinky to scoop out some ointment.
"Come here, I'll apply some for you!" Cheng is becoming more and more shameless!
While she spoke, her hand was already stretched out.
Lou Cheng spurted in laughter, and said on the spot, "My fault, Coach Yan, that's not exactly what I meant..."
He stretched out his right hand and tracing a splendid half arc, grabbed the girl's wrists, stopping her.
Yan Zheke immediately burst into excitement, her shoulders exploding, elbow joints ﬂying like bullets, wrists trembling, squirming at Lou Cheng's capture, and trying to apply the ointment on his mouth.
Lou Cheng's Big or Small Hand Wrap couldn't be broken so easily. With a shake of the shoulders and waving of the right hand, he grabbed hold of the girl's nearby arm. Yan Zheke bit her lower lip. Her pupils brightened, and she threw her left hand in, forming a kind of "Capture Pair Exercise" with Lou Cheng.
In the midst of this ﬁerce struggle between the two of them, hands and ﬁngers ﬂew about, bustling with noise and excitement.
The ﬁnal result was not accidental. The warrior Yan Zheke superﬁcially pretending to be captured, despite only have her two wrists grasped by Lou Cheng.
"It seems you won't make allowances for me!" Yan Zheke wheezed and giggled in a "righteous" tone. Her face became ﬂushed and beads of sweat appeared on her forehead.
This kind of "hidden pair exercise" quarrel really was quite interesting!
When she was ﬁnished speaking in this light tone, she found that Lou Cheng had not responded, and was only staring at her with intense concentration and passion. "You... what're you looking at?" With Lou Cheng holding both of her wrists, and looking at her in this way, Yan Zheke suddenly felt an indescribable kind of panic.
Lou Cheng swallowed a mouthful of saliva and said, "Ke, does your tongue also hurt?"
"Mhmm." Yan Zheke's eyes sparkled.
"I'll help you..." Lou Cheng muttered and used his hand skillfully to pull her up, holding her against his chest. Afterwards, he let go of her wrists, grasped her shoulders, lowered his head and kissed her gently above her lip.
Yan Zheke's hands gently pounded his shoulders, but after a moment, she closed her eyes and clung onto his shoulders.
Kissing was not an untraveled road for either of them. Lou Cheng traced the edges of her lips, taking in the alluring sweetness and extending his tongue, reaching out to the center of her mouth. After momentarily trying to evade it, as Lou Cheng's kisses become deeper and deeper, more and more passionate, Yan Zheke responded. With her few remaining inhibitions, her hands that had been resting on her boyfriend's shoulders unconsciously formed into an embrace.
As he absorbed the sweetness, Lou Cheng still was not satisﬁed. He once again moved towards the girl's small tongue, as if he wanted her tongue to be absorbed into his own.
Yan Zheke struggled as she felt her boyfriend becoming more and more forceful and intense in his attempts. As her body trembled slightly, her mind suddenly was in a daze, and an ineffable thought ﬂashed through her mind, "Let him, let him."
With her tongue not moving, Lou Cheng seized the opportunity and breathed in. With an incredible tenderness and affection, between short and long breaths, he could feel every part of its tenderness and sweetness.
Yan Zheke trembled more and more intensely. Suddenly she pushed Lou Cheng away, withdrawing her tongue and sitting her down. Her eyes were misty and her face ﬂushed with red and pink, gasping for breath. Her beauty was as extreme as could be, as was her allure.
Lou Cheng felt as if he'd been struck. He kissed her again, with her tongue intermingled with saliva and her feverish embrace all together, feverishly exchanging and absorbing each other's smell.
The excitement and stimulation made Lou Cheng's hands, which were behind the girl's back, start to migrate. Caressing from top to bottom, gently massaging from left to right, tracing elegant lines along her back, he came across the strap of Yan Zheke's bra and also ﬁddled with her martial arts suit, removing the hem of her skirt from the inside of her pants.
With their lips touching and the sweet smell of sweat, Lou Cheng could feel her breathing become more and more rapid and hurried. There was a warm, moist kind of sweet fragrance surging from her face, making the desire in his own body become even stronger, surging forth.
His right hand went down, making its way under Yan Zheke's martial art suit skirt, where he could most vividly feel her skin. Just then, there was an urgent knocking at the entrance of the locker room.
Bam bam bam!
Yan Zheke seemed to awaken, pushing Lou Cheng away, lowering her head. She gasped for air as she quickly arranged her outﬁt.
Considerably irritated and in a bad mood, Lou Cheng controlled his tone and in a deep voice asked,
"Who is it?"
Someone who knocked on the door at that very time should be punished!
Outside of the locker room, a lovely sounding woman's voice came through, "Classmate Lou Cheng, I'm Shu Rui, the reporter from Songcheng TV station. Is now a good time for you to have an interview?"
"Of course, it wasn't a good time!" Lou Cheng really wanted to respond, but he considered how the school's propaganda department had begged him over and over. He also considered how they could cover his and Yan Zheke's behavior in the locker room. Consequently, he breathed in and said,
"Wait a few minutes."
He had to say a few minutes because his Martial Arts trousers were loose, and if he stood up straight it would obviously reveal an outline, so much so that it would be as if his pants were acting as a tent for his lower body!
If he went out like this, he might as well be wearing a hat with "Nymphomaniac" on it. This was no good since he would lose face in front of countless Songcheng fans both old and new, and in front of his own forum fans as well... In that case, he might as well crawl into a hole somewhere and die! "Okay." Shu Rui answered impatiently.
How could Lou Cheng dawdle for this long? What the hell was he doing in the locker room?
Wait a second, it seems like that pretty girlfriend of his hasn't come out either...
Lou Cheng calmed himself, visualizing the condensation stance, but his lower half was unyielding and refused to cooperate.
"All I can do is to take a cold shower..." He gritted his teeth at the towering tent as he charged into the shower area, quickly tore off his clothes and wrenched open the faucet.
As she sat on the bench, Yan Zheke giggled at all of this, and had been for a while. She gently pounded her sides and muttered gleefully, "You brought this on yourself!" At the same time, some slang from the internet ﬂashed through her mind.
After ﬁnishing the cold shower and pacifying the tent, Lou Cheng put on his clothes. Glancing at Yan Zheke, he pulled open the doors to the locker room and went out.
Bang! Close the door like a good boy!
Holding in her smile, Shu Rui said, "Sorry for disturbing you, the main thing is I want to wrap up my interviews as quickly as possible for the larger half of the broadcast of the competition."
Oh no, I've been around the block myself, will I be able to guess what you've been up to?
"No need to be so polite, go ahead." It was too late to turn back now. Lou Cheng's resentment could only turn into helplessness.
Shu Rui was not afraid to exploit the secret pleasures of others, and grinned as she said, "Classmate Lou Cheng, when you hit Mo Zicong today with those two punches, they seemed unique, and not like any of the techniques that you've used in the past. Has your new training given you a new trump card?"
"Yes." Lou Cheng answered honestly.
As long as someone paid attention to the other people in the competition, anyone would notice this. He didn't have any kind of hidden secret.
Shu Rui nodded her head, satisﬁed. She continued, "When I interviewed Mo Zicong, he was shaking and his face was still a bit blue, as if he'd suffered a bitingly cold injury. Does this mean that your training from the original Ice Sect school of training is complete?
"I wouldn't say complete, only that I've grasped the basics." Lou Cheng was not self-effacing, only honest. A true Frost Force punch would have frozen Mo Zicong where he stood and temporarily covered his entire body in frost.
His own Thunder Roar Zen and Frost Force had progressed too quickly, and his grasp was still limited to the basic level. He couldn't say that he'd already gone to a higher level simply through the 24 Blizzard Strikes.
"Look at that, such an honest answer! If he has it he says so and if he doesn't he says so!" Confronted by this kind of person, Shu Rui could positively cry tears of joy. She glanced at Lou Cheng in both gratitude and bewilderment.
"According to what I know, even in the Danqi State, even someone who has trained perfectly can still have more areas that are insufﬁcient, like an insufﬁcient grasp of the body reﬁning state. Fighting in such an intense competition, are you afraid that you have to use a correspondingly distinguishing feature or special skill?" Shu Rui followed up this question with another.
Lou Cheng laughed and said, "Can I keep that a secret?" Let other people guess what state I'm at!
Shu Rui was nearly moved to tears. Look at this boy, asking to maintain secrecy in such a polite and reﬁned way!
"Of course you can." She laughed gently, and changed the topic of the interview to other things.
Not long after, when the interview was over, Lou Cheng immediately waved his hand and without looking back rushed back into the locker room.
Hearing the sound of the locker room door's closing, Shu Rui was dumbfounded. She couldn't help but take her purse from the cameraman, take out a small mirror and carefully and thoroughly look at her face. Could it be that I've been pulling too many all-nighters and my looks have deteriorated?
Otherwise, why would he run from me like I'm a monster? He didn't say any more than he had to. It's like he doesn't have the slightest consideration for a woman's feelings. His face was wooden from start to ﬁnish. If he could say it in two words, he wouldn't use three, as if an ordinary full sentence wasn't worth opening his mouth for.
As a particularly beautiful woman, ever since Shu Rui had grown up, there were times where she would receive certain acts of kindness from society. Sitting down on a train when she'd purchased a standing ticket wasn't a problem since most men would do "what was right" and give up their seat to her. It also wasn't a problem if she occasionally forgot to bring change, as her rate of success of borrowing money from others was fairly high...
"There's no change!" Shu Rui looked repeatedly and came to the conclusion that she should take what had just happened a moment ago and get it out of her mind. With the cameraman following, she hurriedly left the martial arts arena. In the locker room, Lou Cheng saw that Yan Zheke had already put together all of her articles, and was waiting for him delightfully.
"Should we get back now?!" He was still full of anticipation.
Yan Zheke ﬂashed a glance, and said softly, "You're so worn out. You should go back and get some sleep."
"You saw that?" Lou Cheng had thought he had managed to conceal it.
Under these unfamiliar circumstances, throwing two Frost Force was actually quite tiring...
"Of course, I'm a famous detective." Yan Zheke grinned wickedly. She walked up to Lou Cheng, raised her arms, extended her hands, and tenderly massaged his temples. As Lou Cheng was enjoying the comfort after his pain was alleviated, she stood up on her tiptoes and with her pink, tender lips quickly gave him a peck on the mouth.
Immediately after that, Yan Zheke turned around, and with her hands behind her back as if everything was normal, said,
"Go back then!"
"Okay." Lou Cheng couldn't help but smile.
Back in the dormitory, Lou Cheng was just about to head to his bedroom when behind him he suddenly heard a sound coming up the stairs.
These footsteps were quite familiar and made him subconsciously halt and wait. Quickly after, the entrance opened, and classmate "Talker" Cai Zongming sauntered in, humming a tune.
"Casanova, you just now got back?" Lou Cheng was a little ﬂabbergasted.
Ke and I have delayed this long, how is that I got back before Little Ming when he left the martial arts arena right after it ended?
What has he been up to?
Cai Zongming tsked. "Cheng, I have some good news, and some bad news. Which one do you want to hear ﬁrst?"
"The bad news." Lou Cheng answered, not particularly caring.
Looking at Talker being unable to conceal his happiness, how bad could it really be! Cai Zongming chuckled. "When I saw you defeat a Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghter in the martial arts arena today with only two punches, I was really f*cking pumped. My heart was uneasy, so then I made an impulsive decision. After the competition, I'd go to the lakeside to practice my standing
"Is this the good news? You bastard, you'll never make a sincere effort unless you're provoked!" Lou Cheng responded with a laugh as he studied Cai Zongming's tone of voice.
"Since when have I not been hard working? It's like I get ravaged by a giant orangutan every day, is it easy for me?" Cai Zongming said, speaking as if he couldn't bear to recall the past.
"OK OK OK, you're very hard working and diligent." Lou Cheng deliberately played up his response. "And the good news?"
"Good news?" Cai Zongming's voice suddenly got higher. "I just successfully meditated!" "Hahahaha, as expected, I'm a genius!" He laughed like a cartoon character.
Lou Cheng was pleasantly surprised, and walked around Cai Zongming in a half circle. "It doesn't look like it. Is that how you meditate?"
"What's this called?" Cai Zongming laughed. "You bastard! With this kind of twisted understanding, you'll never recognize the months of bitter training that I've put into achieving meditation!"
As long as he applied himself, it was clear that Talker had some innate gifts once praised by master Geezer Shi. "This is really impressive..." Lou Cheng secretly was excited for his friend, but he shot back. "If you had this much awareness, you should have been able to meditate before Winter Break!"
Cai Zongming didn't pay him any mind and snickered. "Cheng, a saying just came into my mind."
"What?" Lou Cheng asked, full of curiosity. Cai Zongming cleared his throat.
"Becoming an overnight sensation, like a bird soaring through the sky, shocking all with its prowess. All of your ignoramuses stand up and take notice, for the student has now become the master..."
"Hehe." Lou Cheng responded.
"As the fourth person to grasp meditation in the Martial Arts Club, before the semester is over I need to take on an Amateur Third Pin. When next semester starts, I need to be at least an Amateur Second Pin ﬁghter!" In his high spirits, Cai Zongming let his mind wander freely. Ignoring Lou Cheng, he took out his phone and shirked away to the balcony to give his girlfriend the pleasant surprise.
"Not bad!" Looking at his back, Lou Cheng burst into a heartfelt smile.
As one improved oneself, one's friends would also improve. It really made one happy! At next year's University Martial Arts Tournament Challenges, perhaps Talker could compete for a substitute position...
Heading to his bedroom, Lou Cheng removed his clothes, lay down on the bed, and sent a few messages to Yan Zheke. Just as he was about to take a nap, he saw a message pop up, coming from "Otherworldly Cloud"
This was his cousin Qi Yunfei's QQ username.
"Brother Lou Cheng, are you there?" 'Otherworldly Cloud' asked.
Lou Cheng sent a smiling face. "Feifei, what's up?"
He and his cousins would often trade a few messages on QQ, and he also had a group that was for his brothers and sisters. "Brother Lou Cheng, I heard Aunt say that you've joined the Songcheng University Martial Arts Club. Isn't the training pretty intense?" Qi Yunfei asked, sending a bouncing and lively emoji.
"Pssh, Mom's exaggerating..." Lou Cheng couldn't help but smile and disagree silently. He responded modestly, "It's not that bad."
It seemed like his mom wasn't too fond of him practicing martial arts, but she'd still ﬂaunt this information about and now all his cousins seemed to know!
Qi Yunfei said feebly, "Brother Lou Cheng, I have something that I'd like to have your guidance."
"Ask for guidance? How formal..." Lou Cheng faltered, and then responded casually, "Go ahead."
"My...my boyfriend doesn't want to take the high school admission test. He wants to study martial arts instead. Brother Lou Cheng, what do you think?" Qi Yunfei asked, sending an emoji with its eyes full of sparkling tears.
"What do I think?" Lou Cheng responded deliberately,
"It depends on if he truly does like martial arts, or if he's simply using it to avoid studying. Even if he truly likes it, it depends on if he has enough willpower and if he can persevere. If he really can achieve it and see it through, then studying martial arts is a valid life path."
As for his skill, even if he's just average, there's still hope of getting to be of Amateur First Pin. When that time comes, there are a few places in Xiushan and Ningshui County where it's not hard to ﬁnd jobs for those at an average level.
Qi Yunfei was silent for a moment, and then said, "He truly does like it. Whether or not he has the willpower and can or can't persevere, I can't tell... I'm scared that he'll be cheated by those unreliable martial arts clubs..." "What martial arts club does he want to go to? Tell me, I ask around." Lou Cheng gently replied.
He reckoned that he had a few contacts in the Xiushan martial arts circles.
Qin Rui belonged to the Gushan Martial Arts School, which was one of the top groups in Xiushan!
Chapter 190: Why Hate Me Like This?
Qi Yunfei immediately replied, with excitement, "Okay, okay, I'll ask him!"
While Lou Cheng was waiting for her reply, he found Qin Rui's QQ and sent him a message: "Qin Rui, are you there? I have something to ask you."
Qi Yunfei replied with an anticipated emoji, "It's called the Yao Ning Martial Arts Club! He said it is a good martial arts club in Ningshui County. Brother, please ask about it, please... "
"Okay." Seeing that Qin Rui did not reply, Lou Cheng searched for Qin Rui's name in his contacts and gave him a call.
After hearing the classic ringtone, the call was connected.
Qin Rui said in astonishment and delight,
"Cheng? What's up with the sudden call? Back in Xiushan?" "No, I just have something to ask you." Lou Cheng answered with a smile, "Have you ever heard of Yao Ning Martial Arts Club?"
"Ah? Yes, I know, I know. What happened? Did they mess with you?" Qin Rui felt a little surprised and asked him in bewilderment.
Lou Cheng thought about how to describe the relationship between his sister and her boyfriend, then he said carefully, "One of my relative's children didn't want to go to high school, so he decided to join the Yao Ning Martial Arts Club after he graduated from the middle school. Haha, so I called you to get some details about this club."
"Yao Ning Martial Arts Club. How should I say this... This club isn't too bad. I've seen the coach several times. He was a ﬁghter of Amateur First Pin and has several good disciples. He is also very dedicated to instructing his disciples. So this club is one of the best clubs in Ningshui County," Qin Rui said as he thought about it. Lou Cheng heaved a sigh of relief, "Ok then, that's good to know."
At this time, Qin Rui cried a little and chuckled, "What do you mean by that? If your cousin really wants to learn martial arts, he might as well join my club, the Gushan Martial Arts School. I dare not say that we are the number one in Xiushan, but at least we are among the top three. My club is better than Yaoning in all respects. And rest assured about getting in. With me around, he'll deﬁnitely get in. When he does, I'll help you take care of him and guide him carefully!"
One of the main economic pillars of martial art schools is fees from students. So logically speaking, the school should never refuse new students. However, they do reject applications, because the number has an impact on a very important statistic - the pass rate of the Ranking Event.
The number of coaches in a martial arts club is limited, so the number of students who could be guided carefully and effectively would also be limited. If the school enrolled students blindly and ignored this limitation, then the teaching quality would decrease signiﬁcantly, pulling down their pass rate for the Ranking Event. Such schools would easily be stuck in a vicious cycle. Good ﬁghters would always choose other martial arts school. Without good players, the pass rate would just continue to decline...
Because of this reason, all martial arts schools set a standard and only enroll students within a reasonable range. This resulted in a limited supply for martial arts schools that are in high demand.
It sounds better... " Lou Cheng pretended to be polite and said, "Will this be difﬁcult for you or trouble you?"
"Why would it be troublesome? Aren't we good friends?" Qin Rui answered like he was patting his chest, "You can give my phone number to him and let him contact me directly so that you don't need to be a mailbox."
"Okay! When I return to Xiushan for summer break, I'll treat you to a meal!" Lou Cheng said gratefully.
He did not ask the preliminary results of several martial arts teams in Xiushan, because according to Qin Rui's posts on twitter and his QQ comments, the results were not too ideal. All of the teams did not advance in the preliminaries.
As for Qin Rui himself, he still had a long way to go before he reached the level of Amateur First Pin. So, he did not attend the biannual Amateur Ranking Event in the ﬁrst half of the year.
After chatting for a while, Lou Cheng hung up the phone. He sent a "smile" emoji to Qi Yunfei and said, "Ask your boyfriend, does he want to apply for Gushan Martial Arts School?"
"Yes, yes, yes!" Qi Yunfei a knew little about this aspect, so she replied immediately.
A few minutes later, she sent a "surprise" emoji and said, "He said, who doesn't want to go to this club. Brother Lou, do you really have a way?"
According to my boyfriend, the quota for new members of Gushan Martial Arts School is really limited and because it's popular. Since my cousin is still a university student without any skill or relationships, how could he get my boyfriend in?
Or does my uncle know some leaders in Gushan Martial Arts School?
Lou Cheng sent her the phone number of Qin Rui and said, "Get him to call this number. Qin Rui is the name. He's a disciple of the Gushan Martial Arts School and he can help your boyfriend get a place."
"Really?" Qi Yunfei could not believe her ears.
"If Qin Rui dares to lie to me, he's probably tired of living." Lou Cheng laughed in his heart and said "Seriously. This is deﬁnitely a true offer. But, I can't guarantee whether he would try to get some cash from your boyfriend. So just remind him to be careful."
"Yes, I understand!" Qi Yunfei didn't send an emoji this time.
She was very anxious to get her boyfriend to call Qin Rui. While Lou Cheng waited for her reply, he tried his best to stay awake and expel his drowsiness. He began to look through the tourism projects around Songcheng. He wanted to pick out some visiting locations that Yan Zheke might like and make some detailed travel guides so she wouldn't be left with a bad impression. He was looking forward to this trip.
He was not excited about the possibility that they might have more intimate contact. In fact, he felt that traveling together and experiencing new and interesting things could help bring out certain aspects of someone's character that might be suppressed by familiar circumstances. And it would help make their relationship more stable, while also making them feel more comfortable.
According to the words of "Talker", relationships require effort from both parties. Once you get a girlfriend, it would be wrong for you to be too excited or plan nothing from then on. If you always get along with her stifﬂy or cautiously, both of you would feel tired sooner or later.
While he was comparing and analyzing every travel route, Lou Cheng also opened the Taobao app. He bought several items that he had saved in the shopping cart. There were some snacks for Yan Zheke and other things that could be used to please her.
After a while, Qi Yunfei replied, "Brother, he said it's true. He knows Brother Rui. He said he is the core disciple of the Gushan Martial Arts School and is a strong and young ﬁghter. So he would deﬁnitely be able to help him!"
"That's good." Lou Cheng replied to her a smiling emoji.
Qi Yunfei sent a "worship" emoji and said, "Brother Lou, you are really awesome. You know such a powerful person!"
Maybe that should be said in the opposite way? You are supposed to say that Qin Rui is awesome for knowing a strong person like me... Lou Cheng boasted a little, then he said casually, "Because I was his classmate in high school."
"That explains it!" Qi Yunfei suddenly understood and didn't pursue it further. Lou Cheng was interested in their stories, so he asked, "Fei, you care about your boyfriend quite a bit huh. "
"Of course ~ After all, he is the ﬁrst boy that I really like." Qi Yunfei chuckled.
"What does the word 'really' mean?" Lou Cheng was a little confused.
Qi Yunfei sent an emoji which looked like a man was scratching his head embarrassingly, "I have had boyfriends before... "
Before? My sister, you are only a student in Ninth Grade! Lou Cheng really was shocked. "When exactly did you have a boyfriend?"
"Just when I was in Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grades." Qi Yunfei conﬁdently explained, "At that time, I was only a child and I didn't understand love. I tried it for fun. It's because others would always boo and push us to pair up. But when I was in a relationship with them, I just held hands with them, like playing house. I never thought of it as a real relationship at all!"
Lou Cheng wiped the cold sweat, that did not even exist, and said,
"You are still such a kid!"
Lou Cheng looked at his cousin and thought about his own elementary and middle school life. Back then, he was just as ignorant as her!
Because he was very shocked, he did not try to persuade Qi Yunfei further. After chatting for a while, he quit QQ and tried to take a nap, casually.
For the next few weeks, Geezer Shi did not create obstructions purposely. When they confronted two groups that made it into the rankings last year, he set Lou Cheng and Lin Que as the ﬁnal ﬁghters. He paired Li Mao and Yan Zheke as a group to ﬁght the real battle. Also, he made Sun Jian and Lin Hua a group which just fought after the former one. There was no doubt that Songcheng University Martial Arts Club won the match. So the team advanced with a sweeping victory and just waited for the distribution of bonuses in May and the drawing for their opponent in the quarter-ﬁnal.
Very soon, it was the second to last weekend of April. At half past seven in the morning, Lou Cheng and Yan Zheke were already on the school bus driving to the old campus.
"I can't believe I'm skipping my ﬁrst day of martial arts special training because of you... " Yan Zheke sighed with sweetness.
Today was the day that Lou Cheng would be taking part in the Professional Ranking Event!
As his girlfriend, she felt that she should not miss it. So she speciﬁcally took a day off and was about to accompany him as "Coach Yan." Of course, she wouldn't relax her martial arts because of romance. She deliberately got up early and did nearly two hours of morning exercise.
Lou Cheng was very happy and touched by her company.
However, in reality, he laughed and said,
"Actually, you can wait till next Sunday to take leave. I will deﬁnitely advance in the group competition."
Professional Ninth Pin was the threshold which divided amateur ﬁghters and professional ﬁghters, so the competition of this level would emphasize on weakening the impact of accidental factors. If a powerful ﬁghter made a mistake or failed once, they would still be given the opportunity to continue ﬁghting in this competition.
So, the ﬁrst two members could advance from group competition. The ﬁghters would not be eliminated after only failing in one battle. Even though Lou Cheng was not conceited, he still thought it was impossible for him not to rank at least second in the group. After hearing Lou Cheng's discourse, which went totally opposite to his mind, Yan Zheke immediately raised her arm and said cheerfully,
"Then, should I go back to the Martial Arts Club?"
... Lou Cheng became speechless and he deeply realized that humans should not be too hypocritical. Then he chuckled without showing any shame and said, "I still need the help of my Coach Yan. I am afraid that I'll be unlucky and get assigned to the Death Group!"
Yan Zheke glanced at him with a big smile and replied, "Well, it's good that you still know where you stand!"
Finishing her sentence, she signed, "I am really worried about you. You have to ﬁght so many battles. I don't know what will happen... "
She suddenly raised her hand and covered her mouth to stop herself from saying the word "accident." I almost become a Corvine Mouth!
Due to the rules requiring the ﬁrst two ﬁghters to advance from the group with a stable pass rate, the agenda of the Ranking Event of Professional Ninth Pin was also increased accordingly. Usually, it would be held over two weekends and last four days. Currently, 158 people applied for and passed the veriﬁcation for this ranking event. However, only 15 ﬁghters could pass. So the ﬁghters were divided into ﬁfteen groups and each group had 10 or 11 members. After ﬁghting in a one-cycle way, the ﬁrst two in the group would advance. So according to the speed, there were at most three battles a day. All the group competitions could ﬁnish before next Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
This was all because these people were just one step away from being a professional ﬁghter. The treatment for professional ﬁghters, in all aspects, was much better. The ﬁghters of Amateur First Pin would choose to attend this ranking event if their physical quality had not declined or even if they had nothing else to do. Just in case they were lucky enough to be assigned to a good group or a good draw in the knockout round? That was why the number of people applying for the Ranking Event of the Professional Ninth Pin was so large. If there were no limitations, the number of people who pass would be higher by a big margin. Therefore, a veriﬁcation standard was setup to ﬁlter applicants. The applicants had to hand in the documents to prove they had beaten at least two ﬁghters of Amateur First Pin in the last year. Lou Cheng passed the veriﬁcation easily when he sent the video of him defeating a Professional Ninth Pin ﬁghter.
Watching his girlfriend cover her mouth, he felt a little panicked. Lou Cheng was going to play a joke. However, he saw "Gorilla" Chen Changhua, whose eyebrow could move, carrying his luggage and stepping on the school bus.
"Club manager Chen, I thought you stayed near the stadium last night." He greeted him.
Chen Changhua was still the club manager of the Martial Arts Club in name.
"Hey. I do have a few friends that live there, but I was afraid they might cause me to lose my focus." Chen Changhua replied with a wry smile. Then he found a seat and stopped talking. As he sat there, he closed his eyes to relax while still remaining very cautious.
Compared with how Chen Changhua behaved, Lou Cheng suddenly had the thought that he was somewhat too relaxed.
When they arrived at Hall One of Songcheng martial arts stadium, it was already very crowded. There were ﬁghters who applied for this ranking event, as well as groups of families and friends who came to cheer, and the audience who came to watch the battles of professional-to-be ﬁghters.
After waiting in line for a few minutes, Lou Cheng pulled out the data of their grouping and started to analyze the situation with Yan Zheke, head to head.
"Zhao Baosen, from Putuo Martial Arts Club... "
"Liu Xin, from Binhe Branch of Songcheng Police Department... " ...
"They all seem to be quite strong." After looking through the information, Lou Cheng said it with a smile. There was nervousness or embarrassment on his face.
At the other service station in the Hall 1, Zhao Baosen, who looked very strong and tough, also received the data.
At ﬁrst, he looked at it carefully, but his eyes suddenly gazed at the data as he blurted out,
Lou Cheng in the Songcheng University Martial Arts Club!
... Liu Xin had changed his uniform and was very relaxed, so he wasn't in a hurry to look over it the moment he received the data. He walked to a secluded place, leisurely, then he picked it up and scanned through the paper quickly, out of habit.
"Lou Cheng from Songcheng University Martial Arts Club... "
Crack. The ﬁngers that Liu Xin used to hold the edge of the paper became as tight as hooks.
"Zhao Baosen mastered the Eight Trigram Palm and also practiced the Crane Movement... " Yan Zheke told him in a clear and soft voice.
Lou Cheng dared not be careless in case of unforeseen problems. So he began to seriously discuss things with his girlfriend. At that moment, he heard the intercom calling his name,
"The ﬁghter named Lou Cheng from Songcheng University Martial Arts Club, please go to the service counter now."
Uh? Lou Cheng and Yan Zheke looked at each other with stunned expressions.
After putting away the phone, they left their seats and found the closest service counter.
"Hello, I am Lou Cheng from Songcheng University Martial Arts Club. What's the matter?" Lou Cheng asked politely.
The staff was a girl with a round face. She looked deeply at Lou Cheng and said,
"Your opponent for this morning's battle forfeited." Forfeited? Lou Cheng was stunned for a while. Before he had time to reply, he heard the staff continue, saying,
"Your afternoon opponent and evening opponent too! All your opponents forfeited!"
In a standing corner of Hall One, Zhao Baosen clutched his face with his hands and sighed heavily.
As a ﬁghter, if you quit before ﬁghting with a strong enemy, that would leave you feeling humiliated and oppressed. But after careful consideration, he thought defaulting was the best choice.
People all know how strong Lou Cheng from Songcheng University Martial Arts Club is. And they also regarded him as a top ﬁghter among those of Professional Ninth Pin, so they thought he would deﬁnitely get a free pass. If I confronted him, as an amateur ﬁghter who hasn't even reached the professional level, I cannot imagine how difﬁcult it would be for me to win! In this high-intensity competition, ﬁghting with such a strong enemy who I have little hope to defeat is a meaningless waste of time and energy. I would even have to take the risk of getting hurt without enough time to fully recover. So, strategically, it's better to give up and save my stamina to compete for the second position. That's the most reasonable and wise decision!
At almost the same time, several ﬁghters who just received the group data had the same thought. With his great stamina, Lou Cheng wouldn't be inﬂuenced by the previous battle, regardless of whether the battle was hard or not. So it's better for them to give up as soon as possible. As they cut off the path of retreat, they could ﬁght the next battle with their full strength.
Forfeit? It was difﬁcult for Lou Cheng to describe his own feelings now. To win without ﬁghting certainly made him feel happy, but he also felt a little regretful and annoyed because he had come from far away and discussed the ﬁghts so seriously. This default route made his ﬁst, which was ﬁlled with energy, punch out into the air. "They forfeited the match. Does it mean that they gave up all the ﬁghts or only the one with me?" He asked again unconsciously.
He understood that it was common for ﬁghters in the Ranking Event of Professional Ninth Pin to forfeit, but the purpose of forfeiting often concentrated on the agenda for the next week. Some ﬁghters forfeited because they were injured in the high-intensity ﬁghts and others gave up because they had already failed more than three matches. There was no hope for them to advance, so they didn't want to waste time-ﬁghting again.
The staff answered him with a professional smile,
"They only gave up the match with you... "
Before she ﬁnished her last sentence, she suddenly glanced at the new messages on the computer screen in front of her in surprise. Then, she looked at Lou Cheng like he was some kind of monster, "Your, your three opponents for tomorrow also forfeited... "
What is this situation?
I have worked in this Martial Arts Club for three years. This is the ﬁrst time I have encountered such a situation. So many ﬁghters have forfeited the match with him voluntarily after they heard his name!
Yan Zheke heard this dialogue while standing next to Lou Cheng with her shining eyes. She could not help but chuckle before she said, "Cheng, I suddenly remembered two sentences that I have read before."
"What sentences?" Lou Cheng buried the slight feeling of loss within his heart and asked curiously.
"The ﬁrst sentence is 'your name can scare the enemy away' and the second sentence is 'the name of a certain person can frighten the children so much they stop crying at night'." Yan Zheke answered with a smile. Lou Cheng signed and did not know whether to laugh or cry,
"It seems that these sentences make sense, but I am not accustomed to such an easy victory."
He paused and looked at Yan Zheke and asked, "Where are we going to next?"
Yan Zheke answered seriously and righteously,
"We deﬁnitely have to go back and continue the special training in the Martial Arts Club!"
"Ah... " Lou Cheng looked at her with a stunned face.
Yan Zheke laughed suddenly before replying,
"Since you do not want to go back, as your coach, I invite you to go on a date with me~" In short, I won't go to the hotel to rest because you don't need it at all!
"Ok!" Lou Cheng was now happy instead of being stunned.
However, within his heart, he felt quite a bit of heartache because the hotel would still withdraw some money even if he returned the booked room... Why did those guys forfeit!
Although he was going to receive twenty thousand Yuan, as a person who has experienced a hard life, he still lived in a frugal way and was only generous to his girlfriend.
After making sure of the agenda, he turned around and asked the staff,
"Could you please inform me in advance whether my opponents for next weeks match forfeit or not?" In case I end up coming here next Saturday for nothing again!
Although this gives much more time to spend with Ke, I still feel very guilty because she has to ask for a leave, which delays her martial arts and studies even without her mother's warning.
"I'm sorry. We can't do that. We can only inform you after others decide to forfeit." The girl with a round face answered injured.
Next week, the number of ﬁghters who forfeited from the competition increased. But Lou Cheng could still have a group member that was willing to challenge him. After all, at the last minute of the group combat, some people might only lack one victory to advance from the group. Or some ﬁghters who had no hope to advance, they might want to ﬁght with a strong enemy to gain more experience.
"Well." Lou Cheng could only reluctantly accept this reality that others were yearning for. …
On the last Saturday of April, Lou Cheng received the notice in advance that only his opponents for the afternoon and evening had forfeited. So he came to the arena after he ﬁnished his martial arts special training. He waited for the battle for almost two hours and defeated his opponent within two minutes.
The next morning, because his opponent was injured in the previous battle, he had already given up. Lou Cheng came to Hall One of Songcheng martial arts arena with Yan Zheke after he ﬁnished his less intense tempering. They waited for the results of the drawing together.
If he won another match, he would be a ﬁghter of Professional Ninth Pin with an ofﬁcial certiﬁcate!
While they were waiting for the result they saw Chen Changhua, who had trouble concealing his exhaustion. "Are you okay?" Lou Cheng asked. He has already congratulated this member, who was about to be his "former" leader later, for advancing from the group in second place.
Chen Changhua spit out and said with an unprecedentedly serious face,
"I should keep ﬁghting no matter what happens!"
"What's more, look at everyone else. Most of them are in the same condition as me. If I'm not too unlucky, I might get the certiﬁcate instead of them. Then I won't be letting down my hard work from the last half of the year... "
Lou Cheng was aware of Chen Changhua's seriousness and expectations, so he felt that he shouldn't say anything in case he inﬂuenced his decision. He looked away and held Yan Zheke's hand. Then, he watched the big screen and waited for the results of the drawing.
The drawing in the afternoon was between the groups of ten people. However, ﬁghters from the same group wouldn't confront each other.
After a while, the results of the drawing appeared. Yan Zheke read Lou Cheng's group in a low voice,
"Lou Cheng from Songcheng University Martial Arts Club VS Pan Chengyun from Hongluo Martial Arts School... "
Pan Chengyun? Lou Cheng smiled and felt it was quite a coincidence.
"Lou Cheng from Songcheng University Martial Arts Club VS Pan Chengyun from Hongluo Martial Arts School... "
In the corner next to him, Pan Chengyun looked at the countertop, then she suddenly felt very unhappy. I tried my best to advance from the group competition, however, I have to ﬁght with this strong ﬁghter ﬁrst!
PS: two chapters were combined into one chapter. I am trying to get monthly tickets. Today, I will go back home after ﬁnishing the meeting. Then, I will update three chapters tomorrow.
What's more, there is a celebration activity for New Year's day on my Wechat account-wuzei1985.